Moral injury. Civil Code, Art. 151: "Compensation of moral harm"
Probably, every citizen has heard that for the violation of certain moral standards, you can demand some compensation. It is prescribed in the article - the Civil Code, Art. 151. A few more details about the phenomenon presented and about compensation for it will be described below.
Civil Code, Art. 151, contains all the necessary information about the phenomenon of moral damage. The code reveals this concept as a combination of various sufferings - physical or moral, necessarily caused by a particular action or inaction of a person. We can single out the main, most common groups of actions that may entail moral harm:
- encroachment on intangible benefits relying on a citizen by law or from birth;
- violation of rights - personal, non-proprietary type of person (it is about using someone else's authorship, name, title, etc.);
- encroachment on property rights (fruits of intellectual activity, property, etc.).
If these three groups still do not give a special idea of what is meant by moral harm, the following examples can be identified:
- lack of opportunity to lead an active social life;
- moral experiences due to the loss of something;
- the disclosure of some mystery;
- damage to health due to moral suffering, etc.
It is worth noting that all these situations are the result of moral harm.
Nature of moral harm
To argue about the nature of moral harm is actually not so simple. Art. 151 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation does not fully describe moral damage, despite the fact that it contains quite extensive and detailed information about the phenomenon under consideration.
The nature of moral damage has always been treated in various ways. Is it worth it to highlight the definition of Professor REU A. M. Erdelevsky. He points out that the concept of moral harm is closely related to the psyche, and therefore it would be more appropriate to talk about such a phenomenon as mental disorders.
As a result, Erdelevsky divides the harm done to a person into three categories:
- organic (physical);
- mental (moral);
- property (harm caused to human property).
The famous lawyer M. Ye. Maleina reveals moral damage as a set of humiliations, fears, shame, feelings, etc.
It is, finally, go to the most interesting. The article describing moral damage (Civil Code of the Russian Federation, Art. 151) contains not only the definition of the presented concept, but also much more important points, namely, the assignment of responsibility for causing damage. How does the court charge a person for non-pecuniary damage? According to what criteria does this happen? The same Civil Code specifies the following points in this case:
- proved the violation of personal intangible benefits of the person;
- proved the fact of encroachment on the intangible benefits of a citizen;
- the rights of the consumer (manufacturer, customer or seller) are violated;
- the tourist’s rights are not fulfilled or the rights of the tourist are violated - obvious violations were followed by the travel agency or tour operator; and some other cases.
Thus, the article describing moral harm (Civil Code, Art.151), contains a considerable number of different kinds of examples, criteria and theses.
When is the wine taken off?
Can the court withdraw the charges against the offender who caused moral harm to any person? What does the article on this subject say about moral harm (Article 151 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation)? The decision of the court can really be challenged, but only in the rarest, exceptional cases.
Thus, the law provides for the removal of charges in the following cases:
- “Source of increased danger” caused harm to health or life;
- there was the fact of unlawful conviction, detention, etc .;
- there was a fact of mass dissemination of information discrediting the honor, dignity and reputation of a person or a certain group of people.
As is already clear, the wording of these three criteria is somewhat unclear and, one may say, vague. It will not be possible to give relatively correct examples. In any case, the decision on "exceptional situations", due to which the charge can be dismissed, can only be taken by a judge or jury group.
What does the article under consideration contain? 151 of the Civil Code? Moral damage compensation is a phenomenon also indicated in the law.All grounds, amounts and principles of compensation are determined only by the Civil Code of the Russian Federation.
What is enshrined in the law?
Immediately it should be noted that compensation for moral harm (that is, non-physical and non-material) is always separate. Thus, the simultaneous compensation for property and moral damage, according to the article, is impossible. It is necessary to point out that according to the law there are two types of compensation: the first is closely related to the causer (the person who directly caused the harm), the second - independent of the causer. Situations where charges are dropped from the causer have already been outlined above.
Ways of compensation
What methods can be punished for causing moral, moral or other non-physical harm? As is known, the Russian judicial system involves a small number of punishments, including prison or home detention, fines, correctional labor and a suspended sentence. What can be attributed to the article on moral harm?
In fact, there is only one way. Compensation is always in cash. This is regulated by the article on moral harm (Civil Code of the Russian Federation, Art. 151).Judicial practice does not yet know cases where the guilty person could be responsible for causing moral damage in a form other than monetary. And what about the amount of compensation?
The amount of monetary compensation is always established only by the court, depending on the specific situation. Since there is no case law in the Russian Federation, judges are required to independently charge the amount that the causer must pay to the injured person. The situation should be correctly assessed. Here, in particular, there are some criteria, among which are:
- the nature, form and amount of suffering caused to the citizen;
- degree of guilt of the causer, as well as recognition or non-recognition of his own guilt;
- the relationship of moral suffering with physical (we are talking about cases where moral damage could affect the appearance of physical diseases or ailments).
It is also important that the judges act in accordance with the law, as well as the requirements of justice and reasonableness. It is on these basic criteria that today's judicial and law enforcement system should be built.
All the necessary data on moral harm and compensation for it are provided not only by the article on moral harm (Civil Code of the Russian Federation, Art. 151). In case of an accident, appeals to state bodies or in any other situations, moral damage is also considered by a number of federal laws. In many ways, they duplicate the provisions of the Civil Code, but in some cases they complement it.
Moreover, with a relatively holistic analysis of all laws where the phenomenon of moral harm is being considered, one can try to highlight some compensation rules. In particular, it is worth noting:
- the right to compensation for non-pecuniary damage if it was caused by the authorities or any representatives of the authorities;
- the spouse (spouse) who has suffered from the betrayal or deceptions of the wife (husband) can also file a lawsuit under the article in question;
- compensation for moral harm caused to one of the family members (the provisions prescribed by the Family Code).
At the end, it can be concluded that references to such a phenomenon as moral damage give many different laws.
In order to compensate for the moral damage, you must first prove this harm.This should be done by a judge or jury group. The harm can be caused by a certain kind of actions, as well as by a clear inaction. Moreover, the last is always harder to prove.
There are many articles and publications about how harm is proven. However, in the case of moral damage, this is usually the testimony of witnesses, the confession of guilt by the accused, as well as the presence of other irrefutable evidence (article on moral harm - the Civil Code, Art. 151). The application is also not always accepted. The claim must meet a number of requirements and certain standards.
As already mentioned, the question of assessing moral or moral harm today lies only in the court. The same fact reinforces the article about moral harm (Civil Code, Art. 151). Reviews about this go a variety. Of course, many argue that it would be extremely good to fix in the law at least the minimum and maximum limits of monetary compensation. It is difficult to say whether this requirement is fair.
As is known, the independence of compensation for moral harm, unfortunately, does not allow to attach the degree of moral suffering to the value, for example, of a product destroyed at the same time or of some spoiled product.Strangely enough, but today's judicial practice shows that a claim for moral harm is filed by citizens, as a rule, together with a claim for harm physical or property. That is why some lawyers believe that it would be useful to somewhat expand the list of criteria by which the degree and amount of moral harm can be determined. However, another question arises - whether this is all necessary. About why such a question arises in principle, will be discussed below.
Institute for moral damages today
Despite the fact that the level of legal culture among the population is gradually increasing, many still fear, do not want or do not know how to go to court. Most citizens do not submit applications in really serious situations, not to mention moral damage. It is worth remembering about the Russian mentality. So, in the countries of the West it is not surprising for a person to sue another citizen for a couple of insults.
In Russia, as a rule, such is considered if not disgraceful, then certainly something out of the ordinary. From here we can make a very simple conclusion: the institution of compensation for moral or moral harm does not work very well today.Yes, and this does not make much sense: the number of statements under the article on moral damage (the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, Art. 151) remains truly insignificant. There are very few lawsuits under this article, in comparison with other statements.
From here it is worth returning to the question raised above about the modernization of Article 151. Are the requirements of lawyers to supplement the article with several criteria or are the amounts of cash payments fair? In some ways. However, both the judicial system and the legislation have many other unresolved problems, among which there are still large gaps. It would be worth first to pay attention to them.