Difference Between Civil Law And Criminal Law


As we know that the law is basically  divided into two categories that is civil law and criminal law. And both laws have their own separate legal entities and have their different set of rules which deals with civil wrongs and criminal wrongs.    

What Is Civil Law?

The terms civil law which is derived from the Roman language ' jus civile' means 'the law of the civitas i.e. the state.

This category of law include rights, duties, obligations of individual member of the society among themselves. It is also known as Municipal Law. It  includes the laws related to family, property, contract, tort etc.  

The  purpose of civil law is to rectify the wrongs and settle the disputes in friendly manner and if any damage is arised then the wrongdoer have to give the compensation to the aggrieved party.

Civil law deals with the disputes between private parties as well as the negligent act of the individuals that cause the harm to others  in the society.

The basic principle of civil law is based on the maxim  "ubi jus ibi remdium" i.e. " there is a right , there is a remedy" means if there is a violation of legal right then the action is to be taken without determining the fact of the case whether plaintiff has suffered any actual loss or not.  It should be keep in mind that the complainant in civil case is called a ' plantiff' or 'applicant'  and party against whom the case is filed is called as 'defendant' or 'respondent' . The  state cannot interfere in the civil case unless the government itself is the party in it.

What is Criminal law?

The Criminal law is also known as ' Penal Law'  which is codified under the Indian penal code, 1860 and drafted by Lord Macaulay. The criminal law is deals with the offence which is against the state and deals with the act of individual which cause the harm to individual in this society. It is considered to the beach of duty towards the public at large for which the offender is liable and punished by the state.

In the case of criminal law an individual can report the crime but he do not have right to file a case against the another individual ,  it can only be done by the government against the offender.  The purpose of the criminal law is to punish the wrongdoer and deter  him from repeating the same crime. Actually crime and punishment are considered two sides of the same coin.

Criminal law is based on the famous Latin maxim " actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea" which means " an  act itself does not constitutes guilty unless it is with a guilty intent". It means act is not considered to be a crime if it is not done with guilty intention.  Here the mental element is considered the essential factor of the crime. If a person accused of crime and present before the court then firstly it will be check whether he was aware of the fact or not or the act which he is committing was wrongful on not. 

The criminal law are further divided into two kinds i.e.  the substantive law and the  procedural law. The substantive laws are those  laws which prescribed the offence and punishment for the same offence whereas a procedural law refers to the different process how a case is to be proceeds.

In India the criminal law is codified as the Indian penal code 1860, The criminal procedure code 1973,  and Indian Evidence Act 1872 .  So Indian penal code 1860 is known as the substantive law whereas the criminal procedure code and Indian Evidence Act are considered as procedural law.

Difference Between the Civil Law and Criminal Law?

Now, let's see the difference between civil law and criminal law.

 1. Civil law which is deals with the matter of divorce,  property,  money etc. whereas the criminal law which is deals with the matter which are serious crime like murder, rape, properly, assault etc. 

2. In  civil law the case is filed by the aggrieved party known as plantiff whereas in  the criminal law, the case is filed by the government.

3. The purpose of civil law is to protect the rights of an individual and if damage is caused then the compensation is to be given whereas in criminal law it protect the society and maintain the law and order and it also punish the wrongdoer.

4. In civil matter the compensation is awarded to the aggrieved party whereas in criminal law the punishment is awarded to the offender.

5. In civil law,  the defendant is considered to be liable or not liable whereas in criminal law , the defendant is considered either guilty or not guilty.

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