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EUT 440

ENGINEERS IN SOCIETY
TOPIC 1: INTRODUCTION TO
LAW FOR ENGINEERS
LECTURER:
DR. KHADIJAH MOHAMED
2014

OVERVIEW
Outline
INTRODUCTION TO MALAYSIAN LEGAL SYSTEM
CONTRACT LAW
LAW OF TORT
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW
EMPLOYMENT LAW
Objectives:
Explain the main concepts of law in Malaysia that
relevant to engineering context.
Describe the basic principles of the law governing the
above topics.

EUT440 LAW 1 KM2014

WHAT IS LAW?

Source: http://www.online-nations.net/areas/law-toon.html

Originally laws & rules were invented to regulate social


interaction in a peaceful manner.

EUT440 LAW 1 KM2014

DEFINITION OF LAW
Oxford

Dictionary: Law is the body of enacted


or customary rules recognized by a community
as binding.
Websters Dictionary: A binding custom/practice
of community ~ A rule or mode of conduct or
action that is prescribed or formality recognized
as binding by supreme controlling authority or
made obligatory by a sanction made.

EUT440 LAW 1 KM2014

DEFINITION OF LAW
Sir John Salmond: the body of principles recognized
and applied by the State in the administration of
justice.
John Austin: a command set by a superior being (state)
to an inferior being (individual) and enforced by
sanction.
Thus, law is a set of rules, developed over a long period
of time that regulates interactions that people have
with each other, and which sets standards of conduct
between individuals and between individuals and the
government and which are enforceable through
sanction.

EUT440 LAW 1 KM2014

LAW AND ETHICS

Ethics refers to what is right and what ought to be,


not simply accepting what is.

A set of moral principles or values that governs the conduct of


an individual or a group. It sets standards of good and bad
as opposed to right and wrong.

The purpose of law is to govern the conduct of all


members of society whilst ethics guides individuals in
ascertaining the soundness of rules and their impact
upon relationship.
What is lawful conduct is not always ethical conduct.

Legal behavior is not necessarily ethical behavior i.e the law may

permit something that would be ethically wrong.


EUT440 LAW 1 KM2014

MAJOR LEGAL SYSTEMS


Civil law: based around a written codified body of laws.
A comprehensive system of rules and principles usually
arranged in codes and easily accessible to citizens and
jurists. Mostly in Continental Europe, Central and
South America.
Common law: the body of laws and procedures created
by the judiciary (the judges) and applied via the doctrine
of precedent.
The bulk of the law is usually found in case law, but
statute is playing an increasing role. England and
almost all of British former colonies.
Religious law: based on religion teachings.

EUT440 LAW 1 KM2014

CLASSIFICATION OF LAW
Public

Law: Govern the relationship between


individuals and the state.
International Law: Body of law which is composed
for its greater part of the principles and rules of
conduct which states feel themselves bound to
observed and consequently commonly do observed in
their relations with each other.
Private Law: Concerned with matters that affect the
right and duties of individuals amongst themselves.

EUT440 LAW 1 KM2014

Classification of law
Public Law
Constitutional Law
(Rights of individuals
in the state)
Supremacy of
Parliament
Right of Citizen
Federal & State
Power

Private Law
Business Law
To protect personal interest
Law of Tort
- Breach of General
Duty which imposed
by the law, and not
agreed between the
parties.

Criminal Law
Codifies the various offences
committed by individuals as
against the state.
EUT440 LAW 1 KM2014

International Law

Public Law
Prevails between states
Treaty Law
Law of Sea
Inter. Criminal Law
Inter. Humanitarian Law

Private Law
- Law governs conflict
between individual.
- Part of municipal law
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MAIN SOURCES OF MALAYSIAN LAW


SOURCES
Written Law
Federal & State
Constitution
Legislation Enacted
By Parliament &
State Assemblies
Subsidiary Legislation
(Other Body eg:
Universities)
EUT440 LAW 1 KM2014

Unwritten Law

Islamic Law

Principle of English Law Applicable to


Local Circumstances
(i) Common law (ii) Equity
Judicial Decision

Custom

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COURTS AS A SOURCE OF LAW


2 basic distinctions:
Trial v Appellate courts
Civil v Criminal courts
Trial courts hear case at first instance i.e to make a
ruling on the issues of fact and law. Appellate courts
reconsider the application of legal principles to a case
already heard by a lower court.
Civil courts hear those areas of law which govern the
relationship between legal persons eg. contract,
employment, tort. Criminal courts hear those wrongs
which are sufficiently important for society to impose
certain penalties on the wrongdoer.

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MALAYSIAN COURT STRUCTURE


Art.121

(1A) FC
provides for dual
justice system:
Secular laws
(Public and
Private)
Shariah laws
(only applicable
to Muslims)

EUT440 LAW 1 KM2014

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