Last Updated 16 Jun 2020

Civil V Criminal Law

Category Criminal Law
Essay type Research
Words 662 (2 pages)
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English law is made up primarily of Civil and Criminal Law. Civil Law is concerned with the the Laws of Tort and Contract. Civil law can be defined as that area of law which is concerned with private disputes that occur between individuals or between individuals and organisations and where a proceedings in court is initiated by the aforementioned. In contrast, criminal law seeks to punish those that has done wrongs against the community. For example, a person who decides to take the life of someone else commits murder. The community by way of its government has a duty to protect itself from being murdered.

The result is Criminal Law which is enforceable by the State and initiated by the Police. Therefore criminal law is said to protect the community and punishes those that breaks the law with a fine, imprisonment or community sentences. Whereas, civil law seeks to compensate party who has suffered wrong. Civil law covers many areas of everyday daily life, most notable are domestic relations law like divorces and child custody law, probate like wills and estates, employment like agency and working hours laws, and personal injury law. Under pining those laws are Tort and Contract Law.

A high level definition of tort law is that it deals with wrongs or injuries inflicted on one party by another and usually the parties involved are unknown to each other until something occurs which results in the tort action. Contracts on the other hand deals with the roles, relationships and obligations of parties that are engaged in a formal agreement. Under civil law an example of tort is acts of carelessness, or failure to act which result in injury or loss to another person. An example is a driver who fails to drive properly and as a result of that failure injures a pedestrian.

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This incident can give rise to negligence which is the failure to take reasonable care to avoid injury or loss to another person. However in order to prove a negligent claim, it must be proved that there existed a duty of care on the driver to not cause harm to others. The test of this duty of care is that the court will need to determine that a reasonable person would expect that a certain result might follow from an action. Therefore, by not driving properly the driver mounts the pavement and hits the pedestrian, if the result is foreseeable for a reasonable person, then liability may be imposed for the action.

In comparison, contract law is an agreement between two persons where one binds himself, with respect to the other, to give something or to render some service. As such, a contract is said to be binding with obligations, and if not met, may lead to an action in civil court. For example a plumber hired to undertake the repair of a leaky facet has entered into a contract to repair the leaking facet in exchange for payment, if he fails to repair the facet within the terms of the agreement, there might not be any obligation to pay him as the terms of the contract has not met.

To conclude, civil law covers several area of laws and is primarily concerned with private individuals or companies. The use of the term civil law as a blanket term to cover tort and contract is not confusing as the actions undertaken by the individuals will be indicative of the area of the law that is applicable. The principles are distinguishable, tort usually involves persons who have not entered into a contract or a formal relationship whereas contracts are legally binding agreements established by two or more persons.

Where there might be a blurring of the distinctions is where there arises a case of tort while undertaking a contract. Such as an accident in the workplace where there exist a contract of employment. Bibliographies “Civil Law” Directgov http://www. direct. gov. uk/en/CrimeJusticeAndTheLaw/Thejudicialsystem/DG_4003097 “Criminal Law” Directgov http://www. direct. gov. uk/en/CrimeJusticeAndTheLaw/Thejudicialsystem/DG_4003097 “Tort” Stanford University http://plato. stanford. edu/entries/tort-theories/

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Civil V Criminal Law. (2018, Feb 22). Retrieved from

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