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That's the process by which ...

3 ................

Well, there are essentiallyfive stages to a case involving a conflict of laws. 'Forum shopping? Is that like shopping around to get the best deal in a case?' 'Basically, yes.' Put simply,questions which arise in connection with the main claim.

4 ................

In theory, the outcome of a case will be the same, no matter which court in

which country finally accepts the case.

A key element in this may be the rules on renvoi.

30 aLabel the functional groups in the box above with these headings.

0 giving examples C giving further details 0 rephrasing C simplifying

b What other phrases can be added to each of the categories?

Speaking 2 : Definitions/Role-play: explaining legal terms to non-lawyers

31 Work with a partner.

Student A:Turn to page 116. Student B:Turn to page 117.

32 Work with a partner.

Student A:Turn to page 116. Student B:Turn to page 117.

Writing: Follow-up letter

33 Write a follow-up letter to the client summarising your interview and advising on
how best to proceed. Include the following:

0 the facts of the case

0 any possible legal issues that might arise

C the stages involved in a case involving conflict of laws

o what your client should now do

C what you will do next.

Explain any difficult legal terms using plain language.

Language Focus

1 CollocationsComplete the phrases using the adjectival form of words from the box.

advise bmd custom enforce government intellect

1............ buidwjg......... source of law

2 standards

3 international law

4.................................. practices

5 organisation

6.................................. property rights

2 VocabularyComplete the sentences using words from the box.

bilateral inter-state non-governmental supranational

1 Finland and Sweden have concluded a........... btt^eraL.......... agreement on

economic co-operation in international emergency situations.

2 A................................ organisation is a legally constituted organisation created

by private persons or organisations with no participation or representation of any government.

3 The EU is a................................. organisation that creates, implements and

enforces substantive policies for its members.

4 The International Court of Justice has been criticised for its failure to resolve
................................ disputes.

3 Explaining legal termsMatch the halves of these sentences, which contain phrases for explaining legal terms to non-lawyers.

1 A customs union is, put a whichrights are granted to an

2 A legal framework is, ininternational body by the signatory

nations to the agreement.

3 A charter is an agreement by

b words,it deals with such questions as

4 'Conflict of laws' refers to which law applies in the case at hand.
the body of law dealing with

disputes between private c slmply' a group of nations who wish t0

persons who live in different remove customs barriers between them"

jurisdictions; in other d essence,a broad system of rules.

Comparative law




People who describe and analyse the legal systems of the world divide them into various categories, or families. Although different classification schemes exist, the following systems are commonly distinguished: civil law,common law(often grouped together as Western law], religious law (e.g. Hindu law, Islamic law and Jewish law], Chinese law and socialist law.In addition, some legal systems can best be described as mixed (or pluralistic) systems.

1 Discuss these questions.

1 What do you think is meant by a mixed system? Do you know any systems that might belong to this group?

2 Which system does your jurisdiction belong to?

3 What is the legal system of the vast majority of English-speaking jurisdictions?

Reading i: Comparative law

2 Read the overview of comparative law below and answer these questions.

1 Why is comparative law growing in importance?

2 What is the HCC, and what is its goal?

3 What is the best-known convention produced by UNIDROIT?

Comparative lawis the study of differences and similarities between different jurisdictions, including civil-law systems, common-law systems and religious(or theological) legal systems.

Comparative law has become of increasing practical importance for two reasons. First, the globalisationof world trade means that commercial lawyers are often required to work with colleagues and clients from unfamiliar jurisdictions. The second reason is the increasing harmonisation(or unification)of laws between previously separate jurisdictions, as with the European Union and the Union of South American Nations.

Comparative law is closely related to private international law and the harmonisation of law. Private international law concerns the applicability of laws in situations involving other jurisdictions. Harmonisation of law developed out of a need to simplify these rules, both at a national level (e.g. the US Uniform Commercial Code) and between sovereign states (e.g. EU law).

Another key aspect of comparative law is the idea of uniform law.There are two main sources of international uniform law: The Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCC) and the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT). The Hague Conference, a global intergovernmental organisation with over 60 member states, is the leading organisation in the area of private international law. An increasing number

of non-member states are also becoming parties to the Hague conventions. The statutory mission of the HCC is to work for the progressive unification of private international law in a wide range of areas, from commercial law to international civil procedure and from child protection to matters of marriage and personal status. This involves finding internationally agreed approaches to issues such as jurisdiction of the courts, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of judgments.UNIDROIT also has about 60 member states and was established to research the needs and methods for modernising, harmonising and co-ordinating private, especially commercial, international law. Its most notable convention is the Uniform Law on the International Sale of Goods, 1964.

Key terms: Expressions used in comparative law

3 Explain what is meant by these expressions in your own words.

1 applicability of laws

2 international civil procedure

3 enforcement of judgments

4 progressive unification of law

Reading 2: Course reader

As part of the curriculum of a Masters Program in Comparative Law at an American university, students take a course in which they learn about the differences between civil law and common law.

4 Read the extract below from the course reader (a collection of texts selected by the instructor) and answer these questions.

1 Where did civil law originate?

2 What is the role of precedent in common-law systems?

3 What does the term stare decisis mean?

4 Which two terms are given in contrast to the term unenacted law, in the final paragraph?



Civil law may be defined as that legal tradition which has its origin in Roman law, as codified in the Corpus Juris Civilis (the Justinian Code), and as subsequently developed in continental Europe and around the world. Civil law is highly systematized and structured, and relies on declarations of broad, general principles.

Common law is the legal tradition that evolved in England from the 11th century onwards. Its principles appear for the most part in reported judgments, usually of the higher courts, in relation to specific situations arising in disputes that the courts have adjudicated. The common law is usually much more detailed in its prescriptions than the civil law. It is the foundation of private law, not only for England, Wales and Ireland, but also in 49 U.S. states, nine Canadian provinces, and in most former colonies of the British Empire (many of which now form part of the Commonwealth of Nations).

Common-law and civil-law legal traditions share similar social objectives (individualism, liberalism, and personal rights). Because of this functional similarity, they are often referred to as the Western law family.

Unit 10 Comparative law I 107

A major difference between common-law and civil-law systems is the heavy reliance on case law in common-law systems. In such systems, me courts interpret statute law through the development of case law. Judicial interpretation of statute is binding until challenged by a higher court. Under the doctrine of stare decisis, lower courts are compelled to follow decisions rendered in higher courts. Thus, precedent is at the core of common-law legal systems. Additionally, the courts in common-law systems are able to develop existing law or legal principles in the gaps left by statute. In arriving at a decision in a case, a court will first determine whether there are any applicable statutory provisions. It will then look to see how these provisions have been interpreted (if at all) in earlier cases, and will apply any binding precedent. If there is no previous case law on the statute, the court will place its own interpretation on the statute. If no statutes apply, the court will look to previous case law. In a common-law system, the legislature can overturn previously developed case law through new legislation.

Although codified law (mainly in the form of statutes) is paramount in both legal traditions, it differs in its importance. In civil-law jurisdictions, priority is given to enacted law over unenacted law. Codes provide the core body of law and are supplemented by decisions in individual cases. Conversely, the opposite is true in the common-law tradition, in which precedent is the major source of law.

5 Find words in the text that mean the same as the underlined words below.
For each pair of synonyms, say which word is more formal.

1 Although civil law originated in Roman law, it was later developed around the world, mainly in Europe.

2 The common law concept of stare decisis forces lower courts to accept decisions of the higher courts.

3 In accordance with the principle of stare decisis, decisions made in higher courts are binding.

4 In both common law and civil law alike, statutes are of greatest importance, even though their functions are different.

6 You have been asked to give a short oral presentation about important
differences between common law and civil law. Using information from the extract
above, complete this table.


Common law Civil law
Countries found in    
Importance of case law    
Importance of enacted law    


Language use: Explaining, comparing and contrasting

7 Underline the words and phrases used for contrasting and for expressing
similarity in Reading 2. Then write them under the correct heading. The first
one has been done for you. There may be more than one possible answer.

Contrasting:... Is mudi more detailed Ukui ...

Expressing similarity:

8Complete these sentences using the words and phrases for expressing
similarity and contrast from Exercise 7.

1 Civil law and common law.................................. their origins. Common law

was developed by custom, beginning before there were any written laws.

................................ , civil law developed out of the Roman law of Justinian's

Corpus Juris Civilis.

2 In civil-law systems, court-made law is almost unknown,.....................................

in common-law systems, where large areas of law are created and shaped by court decisions.

3 ................................. civil law and common law, statutory law is of enormous


4 ................................. common law and civil law concerns the method of

argument. In the civil law, the principal method of argument is by deduction from general principles or from statutes towards particular cases.

................................ , in the common law, the principal method of analysis

is induction (reasoning from detailed facts to general principle) and analogy (drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity).

9 Present the information from Exercise 6 to an audience, using the expressions
for comparison and contrast from Exercise 7.

istening i: Legal translation

Discuss these questions.

1 What kinds of problem can occur when a legal text is translated?

2 How do you think these problems could best be avoided?

3 Why would a practising lawyer need to be aware of these problems?

^Ho.i Listen to the first part of an excerpt from a lecture held by a guest speaker from Mexico, who has been invited to talk to law students at a US university about legal translation. Apart from language proficiency, what else do legal translators need in order to work effectively?

4z 10.2 Listen to the second part of the lecture. What is meant by the term false friends?

* 610.2 Listen again and answer these questions.

1 What is the first category of words she distinguishes?

2 How should a translator deal with the words in the second category?

3 What problem is posed by the third category? How should it be dealt with?

Do you know any legal terms in your own language that are particularly difficult to translate into English? What makes them so difficult to translate?

Language skills: Finding and choosing legal terms

15 Students of comparative law, as well as practising lawyers, often encounter
unfamiliar terms from other legal systems. Discuss these questions with a

1 Where can you look for information about unknown legal terms in English?

2 What do you do when you encounter an unfamiliar legal term in English that has no equivalent in your language?

16 Consider this list of sources of information about a legal term. What are the
advantages and disadvantages of each? Discuss your views with a partner.

0 Law firm's glossary of legal terms on its website

C Online legal dictionary

0 Legal dictionary in book form

C Glossary of terms on the website of an international organisation

0 Google's definition of a term (results of define: + term search)

0 Finding the term in the context of its use in a document online

17 Look up the following difficult-to-translate English legal terms and try to find an
equivalent in your own language. Make notes about the sources you looked at
and then tell a partner what your solution is and how you found it. Whenever
possible, use the words and phrases for contrasting and expressing similarities.

example: TVie English concept o-f 'good -faith' Is similar to what we call
................................ , but It differs In tHe following ways ...

1 equitable remedy

2 promissory estoppel

3 misdemeanor1

4 (past) consideration

5 the Lord Chancellor


As trade becomes increasingly globalised, lawyers often find that they need to be familiar not only with their own jurisdictions, but also with the jurisdictions of their international colleagues and clients.

18 Make a list of the three countries whose legal systems you know the most
about. How did you learn about these jurisdictions? How sure are you that the
information you have is correct?

(UK) misdemeanour

Listening 2: In-company course

Gareth teaches an in-company ILEC course to a small group of judges working in Liechtenstein.

19 4;10.3 Listen to the first part of the discussion during one of Gareth's classes
with the judges. Which of these different meanings of the term equity is the
closest to that described by Beate, one of his students?

a the difference between the market value of a property and the claims held

against it b the ownership interest of shareholders in a corporation c a system of courts that developed alongside the law courts in England

20 4 i 10.3 Listen to the first part of the discussion again and answer these

1 Why does the subject of equity come up?

2 Why is Beate able to talk about equity?

3 Why was equity developed?

21 ^cio.4 Listen to the second part of the discussion and decide whether these
statements are true (T) or false (F).

1 The position of Lord Chancellor was removed by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005.

2 Damages is an example of an equitable remedy.

3 If applying the rules of equity would lead to a different resuit than applying the strict legal rules, equity takes precedence.

4 Equity is administered by the Court of Chancery.

22 ^ 610.5 Listen to the third part of the discussion and decide whether these
statements are true (T) or false (F).

1 The German concept of Treu und Glauben is similar to the English 'clean hands' doctrine.

2 The French doctrine of the abuse of rights is similar to the English concept of equity.

Look at the audio transcripts for the whole discussion (pages 138-139) and find phrases used for describing a legal system.

[Speaking i: Describing, comparing and wtrasting

24 Choose an aspect of your jurisdiction and explain it to a partner. Where possible, your partner should contrast that either with another aspect erf the same legal system or with the closest equivalent in a foreign jurisdiction. ■ Use the language of describing, comparing and contrasting during your discussion.

e Cambridge International Legal English Certificate (ILEC), an internationally recognised test of legal
■psh. It is designed for lawyers and law students requiring English language skills to work effectively
Ee international legal environment. Unit 10 Comparative taw

Reading 3: Asset protection

Liechtenstein is one of many jurisdictions that have established themselves as tax havens.

25 Discuss these questions.

1 What constitutes a tax haven?

2 What other countries can you think of that are also considered to be tax havens?

3 What is the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion?

4 What do you think the term asset protection might refer to?

26 Read the first paragraph of the text on page 113. Which of these descriptions best
describes the text?

a A letter of advice from a lawyer to a businesswoman seeking to reduce her tax burden b A memo written by a junior lawyer to a senior lawyer contrasting different forms of

charitable foundation c A summary of various means of safeguarding money from creditors, taken from a

website for businesspeople and lawyers

27 Read the whole text quickly and choose the correct word to complete each of these

1 The Stiftung / Anstalt / founder is a type of civil law foundation used to hold assets, property or shares.

2 The Stiftung / Anstalt / trust is a hybrid entity often used as a holding company for overseas subsidiaries.

3 The assets of a Liechtenstein-based foundation are held on behalf of the Council of Members / beneficiaries / creditors.

4 Behaviour that is illegal because it does not obey or respect the rules of a law court is referred to as contempt / holding / interpretation.

Text analysis: Discourse markers for text cohesion

In the letter on page 113, one of the lawyer's main objectives is to present complicated information in a clear way. In order to achieve this, he uses various words and phrases at the beginning of sentences to show the relationship between ideas. These discourse markers act as 'lexical signposts', guiding the reader through the text and making it easier to understand.

In this sentence from the letter, the discourse marker signals that further information about a previous idea is being given:

Furthermore, Liechtenstein law may not protect the settlor from a U.S. court's finding of contempt.

The word furthermore, which here means 'in addition', shows that an idea introduced in the previous sentence will now be further developed. In this case, the general idea being expressed is that the asset protection methods discussed in the text may not offer 100% security from legal challenges.

28 Look at the highlighted discourse markers in the letter and decide which of the
following four functions each discourse marker fulfils. List any other similar words
or phrases you know.

C Giving extra information: -furthermore C Introducing the result of previous information C Comparing, contrasting and qualifying 0 Emphasising

Dear Ms Radford

Asset protection entities in Liechtenstein

Your instructions to me were to provide a summary of the structures available in Liechtenstein to facilitate your need to insulate future liabilities. I have now had the opportunity to research this and can provide you with the following details.

Although there are a number of civil-law entities available for asset protection purposes, the most popular structures for U.S. planners arc two trust-like entities, the Stiftung and the Anstalt1, created under the law of Liechtenstein.

The Stiftung is a type of foundation, commonly used to hold assets, fixed property or shares. It is created by a founder, from whom it has a separate legal identity. A Stiftung is not subject to any form of income tax, capital tax, transfer tax or inheritance tax in Liechtenstein. Its assets must be segregated from any personal assets, and are generally not available to the founder's creditors. The bylaws of such entities are typically not filed in any public registry. Consequently, it is very difficult to get information about a Stiftung registered in Liechtenstein.

Notably, the Stiftung cannot be used solely for commercial purposes. Instead, it is designed to act as a private foundation. For asset protection purposes, it is better if the Stiftung is created for the promotion of some important interest (such as to further education or medical research) because there may be less chance that contributions to it made for asset protection purposes will be considered fraudulent by any investigating authorities.

While a Stiftung may have beneficiaries, including the founder, it cannot have any shareholders. That said, named beneficiaries are not recommended, as they can give the Stiftung the appearance of a foreign asset-protection trust. Because of this, the Stiftung should be limited by its terms to supporting the purpose for which it was created. Despite this limitation, there are methods to utilize the assets of a Stiftung to endow private scholarships, etc.

Besides the Stiftung. the most important entity for tax purposes in Liechtenstein is the Anstalt, a hybrid of a company limited by shares and a foundation. Such entities are commonly used by foreign companies as a holding company for overseas subsidiaries. The Anstalt has no members, participants or shareholders, but can have beneficiaries. The principal practical difference between an Anstalt and a Stiftung is that, unlike a Stiftung, an Anstalt can conduct all kinds of business activities.

The civil-law basis of these entities, and the fact that they usually do not have identifiable beneficiaries, make them very difficult for U.S. creditors' attorneys to conceptualize, and thus attack. Nevertheless, it must be noted that a U.S. judge could simply treat them as foreign asset-protection trusts and order that their assets be repatriated. Furthermore. Liechtenstein law may not protect the settlor from a U.S. court's finding of contempt.

1 The terms Stiftung and Anstalt are both German nouns and, as such, begin with a capital letter.

peaking 2: Advising on asset protection

29 You are commercial lawyers specialising in asset protection. You have been asked to advise an American client on the asset-protection entities available in Liechtenstein. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the various entities with a partner and decide how to advise your client.

riting: Letter summarising options

Your client is concerned that the asset-protection entities in Liechtenstein might prove difficult and expensive to administer. Using the notes on page 115, write a letter to your client outlining the Panamanian foundation, another popular form of asset protection. Use discourse markers to explain, compere and contrast the foundation with other forms of asset protection.

Unit 10 Comparative law

Language Focus


1 Word formationComplete this table by filling in the correct forms of the words listed.


Verb Noun Adjective
globalise   global

SynonymsMatch each word or phrase (1-5) with its synonym (a-e).

1 conversely

2 later

3 paramount

4 compel

5 unify

avery important bforce

con the other hand dsubsequently eharmonise

CollocationsMatch the verbs in the box with the nouns they collocate with Gudgment or law); some of the verbs collocate with both nouns.

VKjfy fcVtafc towwawsa modernise recognise render

1 a judgment: apply, ...

2a law:

4 Discourse markersComplete this text using the words and phrases from the box.

however in addition notably therefore thus

This essay discusses changes occurring within legal education, which are finding wide acceptance in law schools throughout the United States. These changes include

greater attention to other disciplines, 1)........ wbably..... economics and behavioural

sciences, and the contributions they make to a fuller understanding of the legal

system. 2)....................... , law schools are increasingly exploring the ways in which the

law in textbooks may differ from the law in action. 3)....................... nearly every law

school is investigating the consequences of legal rules through clinical legal education, which provides a real or simulated laboratory experience for law students. The most

widespread change, 4)....................... , may be the breaking down of traditional artificial

classifications of subject matter, which attempt to provide the advanced student a method for organising his or her knowledge about the legal system.

5)....................... , comparative law courses have been developed in an attempt to

inspire students to think creatively about legal problems by providing new insights into the legal system.

Hugh J. Ault and Mary Ann Glendon, I'he importance of Comparative Law in Legal Education: United States Goals and Methods of Legal Comparisons, 27 J. Legal Educ. 599-608 (1975-1976)

Unit to, Exercise 33

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