World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Civil litigation

Article Id: WHEBN0001090208
Reproduction Date:

Title: Civil litigation  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Injunction, Legal Practice Course, Law of Bulgaria, Cumis counsel
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Civil litigation

This article is about law that is not criminal law. For other uses, see Civil law (disambiguation).

In England and Wales, civil law means non-criminal law.[1] The law relating to civil wrongs and quasi-contracts is part of the civil law.[2] Civil law can, like criminal law, be divided into substantive law and procedural law.[3] Civil law is the branch of law dealing with disputes between individuals or organizations, in which compensation may be awarded to the victim. For instance, if a car crash victim claims damages against the driver for loss or injury sustained in an accident, this will be a civil law case.[4] Civil law differs from criminal law, which emphasises more upon punishment than on dispute resolution.

Overview

In common law, civil law is the area of laws and justice which affect individual legal status. Civil law, in this sense, is usually referred to in comparison to criminal law, which is the body of law involving the state against individuals (including legal persons such as corporations and Non-Profit Organisations, other than physical human beings), where the state relies on power given by statutory law. Civil law can be compared to military law, administrative law and constitutional law (the laws governing the political and law making process), and international law. When there are legal options for actions caused by individuals within any of these areas of law, it becomes civil law.

Civil law courts provide a forum for deciding disputes involving tort (such as accidents, negligence, and libel), contract disputes, the probate of wills, trusts, property disputes, administrative law, commercial law, and any other private matters that involve private parties and other groups including government institutions. An action by an individual (or legal equivalent) against the attorney general is a civil matter, but when the state, being represented by the prosecutor for the attorney general, or some other agent for the state, takes action against an individual (or legal equivalent, including for example, a department of the government), this is public law, not civil law.

Purpose

The objectives of civil law are different from other types of law. In civil law there is the attempt to right a wrong, fulfil obligations set in place by an agreement, or settle a dispute. If there is a victim, they get compensation, and the culprit pays, somewhat based upon the principle of 'an eye for an eye' but in a civil and sophisticated manner, as opposed to full-fledged revenge. If it is an equity matter, there is often a pie for division and it gets allocated by a process of civil law, possibly invoking the doctrines of equity. In public law the objective is usually deterrence, and retribution.

An action in criminal law does not necessarily preclude an action in civil law in common law countries, and may provide a mechanism for compensation to the victims of crime. Such a situation occurred when O.J. Simpson was ordered to pay damages for wrongful death after being acquitted of the criminal charge of murder.

Civil law in common law countries usually refers to both common law and the law of equity, which while now merged in administration, have different traditions, and have historically operated to different doctrines, although this dualism is increasingly being set aside so there is one coherent body of law centred around common principles of law.

Difference from criminal law

In many countries such as the USA and UK, criminal law has to prove that a party is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt when a case verdict is reached in court. Civil law operates differently, as the UK standard is only to prove guilt on the basis of a balance of probability. In civil law cases, the "burden of proof" requires the plaintiff to convince the trier of fact (whether judge or jury) of the plaintiff's entitlement to the relief sought. This means that the plaintiff must prove each element of the claim, or cause of action, in order to recover.

See also

References

de:Zivilrecht
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.