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法律英語閱讀與翻譯教程(3)

 第二課   普通法系與大陸法系

Lesson 2   Legal Systems: Common Law and Civil Law

I.課文及譯文
  每個獨立的國家都有其法律體系。法律體系因各國的社會傳統和國家結構形式不同而有所不同。然而,大多數法律體系或者可被歸入普通法系,或者可被歸人大陸法系。美國、加拿大、英國和其他英語國家屬于普通法系。其他大多數國家屬于大陸法體系。還有很多國家兼有二者的特色。大陸法司法管轄區和普通法系之間存在的主要差異在于,前者將其法律法典化,而對于后者,“法官造法”未得到匯編整合。
   Every independent country has its own legal system. The system vary according to each country’s social traditions and form of government. But most systems can be classed as either a common-law system or a civil-law system. The United States, Canada, Great Britain,and other English-speaking countries have a common-law system. Most other countries have a civil-law system. Many countries combine features of both systems. A general distinction can be made between civil law jurisdictions,which codify their laws,and common law systems,where judge made law is not consolidated.   
1.普通法系
   英國、美國以及其他過去是英國殖民統治的國家是普通法系國家。普通法系區別與大陸法系,后者在歐洲以及其他過去是法國和西班牙殖民的國家中占統治地位。美國(路易斯安那州除外)各州均采用普通法系,路易斯安納州的情況特殊,它形成一個由法國民法與英國刑法共同構成的混合體系。在加拿大,除魁北克采用法國式大陸法系 外,余下地區均采用普通法系。
1.Common-law System
   The common-law system prevails in England, the United States, and other countries colonized by England. It is distinct from the civil-law system,which predominates in Europe and in areas colonized by France and Spain. The common-law system is used in all states of the United States except Louisiana, where French Civil Law combined with English Criminal Law to form a hybrid system. The common-law system is also used in Canada,except in the province of Quebec,where the French civil-law system prevails.
   盎格魯-美利堅普通法主要產生于三個英國王室法院:財政訴訟法院、王座法院和普通訴訟法院。上述法院最終取得了原先歸地方法院或領地法院(如男爵法院、海事法院、行會和王室獵場法院,它們的司法管轄權僅限于特定的地區或特定的事項)管轄之糾紛的司法管轄權。 衡平法院最初設立的初衷是為了向那些不能獲得普通法救濟的訴訟當事人提供救濟,后來也并人了普通法法院體系。絕大多數法律爭議的管轄權現已合并至數個法院管轄,這成為現代英美法院體系的基本框架。
   Anglo-American common law evolved chiefly from three English Crown courts of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries: the Exchequer, the King’s Bench, and the Common Pleas. These courts eventually assumed jurisdiction over disputes previously decided by local or manorial courts,such as baronial admiral’s(maritime), guild, and forest courts,whose jurisdiction was limited to specific geographic or subject matter areas. Equality courts,which were instituted to provide relief to litigants in cases where common-law relief was unavailable, also merged with common-law courts. This consolidation of jurisdiction over most legal disputes into several courts was the framework for the modern Anglo-American judicial system.
   普通法法院是基于先前的司法裁決,而不是依據立法判案的。對于普通法法官而言,引導他們適用法律的是歷任法官曾經對事實爭議作出的裁決,而不是抽象的法典或者文本。普通法法官從收錄歷史爭議裁決的判例匯編中為他們的裁決尋找依據。依據遵循先例原則,
如果案件的事實基本一致,則普通法法官必須作出與已決案件(或先例)保持一致的裁決。法院的一則判決對于同一法院或同一法域的下級法院在(今后)審理類似案件時構成“有約束力的先例”。該判決對于本法域內的上級法院或其他法域內的法院并無約束力,但可被視為“有說服力的先例”。
   Common-law courts base their decisions on prior judicial pronouncements rather than on legislative enactments. Common-law judges rely on their predecessor’s decisions of actual controversies, rather than on abstract codes or texts, to guide them in applying the law. Common-law judges find the grounds for their decisions in law reports, which contain decisions of past controversies. Under the doctrine of stare decisis, common-law judges are obliged to adhere to previously decided cases, or precedents, where the facts are substantially the same. A court’s decision is binding authority for similar cases decided by the same court or by lower courts within the same jurisdiction. The decision is not binding on courts of higher rank within that jurisdiction or courts in other jurisdictions, but it may be considered as persuasive authority.
   在普通法系下,爭議的解決靠對抗雙方辯論與證據的交鋒來實現。當事雙方將其案件焦點展示給一個中立的事實裁定人(法官或者陪審團)。法官或者陪審團負責評估證據,對案件事實適用適當的法律,并作出有利于其中一方的判決。判決作出后,任何一方當事人均上訴至更高一級的法院。普通法系的上訴法院(在審理上訴案件時)僅審查原審法院判決中“對適用法律的裁決”,不審查“對爭議事實的裁決”。
   Under a common-law system, disputes are settled through an adversarial exchange fo arguments and evidence. Both parties present their cases before a neutral fact finder, either a judge or a jury. The judge or jury evaluates the evidence, applies the appropriate law to the facts, and renders a judgment in favor of one of the parties. Following the decision, either party may appeal the decision to a higher court. Appellate courts in a common-law system may review only findings of law, not determinations of fact.
   在20世紀,普通法國家的立法機關在制定法律中所起的作用在不斷地提升。例如,美國國會對美國合同法和財產法作出了很大程度的修訂。修訂針對的主要是諸如勞資關系、工人工資和工作時間、健康、安全和環境保護之類的事項。然而,普通法國家始終保持著英國法律體系的基本特色,即法官造法的權力。此外,這些國家的憲法亦始終保持著保護人民權利和自由的普通法傳統。
   The lawmaking role of legislatures in common law countries has increased greatly during the 1900’s. For example, the United States Congress has made major changes in American contract and property law. The changes have dealt, for example, with such matters as labor-management relations, worker’s wages and hours, health,safety, and environmental protection. Nevertheless ,common-law countries have kept the basic feature of the English legal system, which is the power of judges to make laws. In addition, constitutional law in these countries continues the common-law tradition of defending the people’s rights and liberties.
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