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in civil law, a means of ensuring performance of obligations.

The penalty is a sum of money determined by law (legal penalty) or under contract (contract penalty) which the responsible party is obligated to pay if the obligation is not carried out or is carried out improperly. A penalty is paid for violation of contract conditions regarding time, quality, and method of per formance; it is recovered regardless of whether losses actually occur or how large such losses are.

According to Soviet law, the obligation to pay a penalty is supplementary (accessory) to the primary obligation. Any agreement concerning a penalty must be concluded in written form to be effective. The size and form of the penalty are determined by the nature of the violation of the original obligation. Imposed as a fine, the penalty is a fixed sum or definite percentage of the total unfulfilled or improperly fulfilled obligation. Fines are applied for violation of contract conditions regarding such elements as product quality, completeness of deliveries, efficient use of transport, and observance of the rules of documents transfer in the course of clearing accounts. A penalty is also paid for delay in performance of an obligation, whether for delay in turning over work or for delay in payment. The amount of such a penalty equals a fixed sum or a percentage of the value of the delayed performance, increasing with the duration of the delay.

Depending on the combination of losses and penalties recovered, the following types of penalties are distinguished: an offset penalty, discharged with the recovery of losses; an exclusive penalty, the collection of which excludes recovery of losses; a contract penalty, collected together with losses; and an alternative penalty, by which the aggrieved party has the right to demand recovery of either the penalty or actual losses.

The penalty is used to strengthen plan and contract discipline. The collection of penalties by socialist organizations is therefore viewed by the law not only as a right but also as a duty to the state. Payment of a penalty does not release the responsible party from performance of the obligation itself, with the exception of cases where the plan on which an obligation between socialist organizations was based is no longer in force.




(Russian penia, from the Latin poena, “punishment”), under Soviet civil law, a sum of money paid for each day of delay in the performance of an obligation or the imperfect performance of an obligation by a guilty party. It is calculated as a percentage of the sum of the unfulfilled or improperly performed obligation. Payment of the penalty does not release the debtor from the fulfillment of his obligation.

References in classic literature ?
The two carriers were at first loud in their threats of actions for damages, and promised to rain all the penalties of the law on us.
Two short poems here rendered -- namely, "Peaceful Old Age" and "The Penalties of Rank" -- give us a glimpse of the poet in his old age, conscious of decaying powers, glad to be quit of office, and waiting with sublime faith in his Taoist principles to be "one with the pulsings of Eternity".
Being a man who knew that the former of these symptoms was one of the inherent penalties of womanhood, he did not then press his inquiries, but waited for a more appropriate opportunity when he should again interrogate her, or receive an avowal proprio motu.
Further penalties, such as branding and cropping of ears, shall be thought of hereafter.
The morning found him still upon the field of action, but in sad and sorrowful condition; suffering the penalties of past pleasures, and calling to mind the captain's dulcet compound, with many a retch and spasm.
If I swear falsely may heaven visit me with all the penalties which it metes out to those who perjure themselves.
He suffered the usual penalties for breaking out of bounds when there was cholera in the city.
Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.
Such men, therefore, are not the object of law; for they are themselves a law: and it would be ridiculous in any one to endeavour to include them in the penalties of a law: for probably they might say what Antisthenes tells us the lions did to the hares when they demanded to be admitted to an equal share with them in the government.
My immediate comrade and I talked in an undertone about quarantine laws and their penalties, but we found nothing cheering in the subject.
The tendencies of the times favor the idea of self-government, and leave the individual, for all code, to the rewards and penalties of his own constitution; which work with more energy than we believe whilst we depend on artificial restraints.
Because any jailer who strikes a prisoner is liable to two penalties, -- the first laid down in Article 9 of the regulations at Loewestein: --