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International Business Transactions


Unit 7B

The civil cases

Unit 7A


A‘tort’is a civil wrong which injures someone or harms a person’s property or reputation. Sometimes it is negligence. Negligence can occur in many situations. For example, when a hospital gives a patient a transfusion of the wrong type of blood, or a solicitor gives his client wrong advice because he has overlooked a new law, or a company fails to make sure its employees’ working conditions are safe. Anybody who is injured or who suffers financial loss through someone else’s negligence has a right to sue in the civil courts for compensation.

Negligence is only one of a range of torts, or wrongs, for which it is possible to sue and claim damages. Other torts include assault, libel, slander and nuisance. But by far the most common tort, in terms of the number of court actions started, is negligence.

Apart from tort, the other big category of civil action is for breach of contract. When two parties enter into a contract, they both agree to carry out certain obligations. The contract need not be in writing. An oral agreement to buy something from a shop or to do some work is just as much a contract as a document running to a dozen pages of legalese.



As we move toward a global economy where countries grow more economically interdependent on each other, some understanding of the international legal environment is very essential. International business affects almost every individual in the United States. For instance, the typical American consumer who purchases a Japanese television has an indirect role in international trade. Several international trade participants, from the Japanese manufacturer to the local American retailer, played a part in the sale of the television to the customer in the United States.

International business activities generate more than one-third of the U.S. gross national product. The global impact of international business also is staggering. More than two hundred multinational businesses have sales in excess of $1 billion per year. As a firm expands beyond a single country and its business activities cross national borders, the need for the firm’s managers to understand the evolving international business marketplace is of paramount importance.

The international legal environment of business does not consist of a cohesive body of uniform principles. It contains elements of United States domestic law, the law of other countries, multilateral, bilateral and regional agreements or treaties, and customary international law.


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