Distinguishing Criminal and Civil Law

Distinguishing Criminal and Civil Law

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Before explaining some differences between civil and criminal
functions and purposes, we must have some idea of the nature of law “law
is asset of rules which prohibit us from doing curtain things on pain
of punishment and which exist for the settling of disputes between
people and recognized legal entities and between privet individuals”
(Roger Thomas dose 2003-2004 p.7.).

As roger Thomas said there should be a set of rules for each
individual to prohibit him from doing things which are not right,
therefore there is a parliament and other different bodies which sets
the rules for the environment.

In our environment the law determines into two sections: civil and
criminal law, the difference between them is that the criminal law
aims to punish the offender where as the civil law aims to compensate
the victim. The word “Tort” comes from the French word meaning wrong,
so, “Tort” is a wrong, and since we are concerned in tort with
remedying wrongs rather than punishing them,

It’s a civil wrong, in the modern law the emphasis in tort has
developed very much towards a law of interrelated duties as a result,
and the law of negligence has achieved increasing importance,

And had developed humorous individual aspects. As Michel Jones puts it
more simply: “the law of tort is primarily concerned with providing a
remedy to person who has been harmed by the conduct of others” (Chris
turner/tort law, chapter 1; 2003)

It is important to realize that civil law is very different from
criminal law. Criminal law is a part of public law, while civil law is
the separate category of private law.

The reason that criminal law is a part of public law is that crime is
regarded as an action against the state and society as a whole. Civil
law is called private law because the issues it deals with are between
two individuals.

The two types of law have different aims and are dealt with in
different courts. A person who commits a crime is said to have

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offended against the state, and so the state has the right to
prosecute them. Even the standard of proof is different in civil and
criminal cases.

Criminal cases must be proved “beyond reasonable doubt”, where is in
civil cases have only to be proved “on the balance of probabilities”.

So as I have distinguished civil and criminal law I’ll conclude with
the words of Sir John Salmond by defining law in general “the body of
principles recognized and applied by the state in the administration
of justice”. Law could be also described as a formal mechanism of
social control. (Jacqueline Martin p-3 AQA law).


1-Criminal law: text and materials, fifth edition by C.M.V.Clarkson

And H.M.keating, London Sweet & Maxwell 2003.

2- Tort of law, Chris Turner, Hodder & Stoughton, 2003.

3- AQA Law for AS, Jacqueline Martin, Hodder & Stoughton, 2002.

4- Roger Thomas dose, introduction to business law, 2003-2004.
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