What is Civil Law?
Civil law is a legal term used to describe two distinct legal concepts. In the more traditional sense, civil law is used to describe a body of law that is primarily focused around resolving issues through the delivery of peaceful resolutions to non-criminal cases or disputes. In contrast, the term civil law is also used to denote a legal system that is practiced in the majority of developed nations throughout the world.
At its core, civil law is a scope of law that resolves non-criminal disputes through multiple forms; primarily civil law aims to solve such issues through the discovery portion of a trial or through alternative resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration. As a result of its focus, civil law will cover a wide array of areas; for instance, civil law will encompass issues relating to child custody suits, divorce cases, and personal injury claims. Furthermore, civil law will attempt to resolve matters concerning business disagreements (primarily contract disputes).
In a personal sense, civil law is used to evaluate lawsuits that will seek reimbursement for damages to property or to an individual. Every country throughout the world has its own set of civil laws that are developed by the particular country’s courts or legislators.
What is a Civil Court?
In a generic sense, a civil law court is a venue where people or business entities attempt to resolve legal disputes in an orderly manner. The majority of civil law courts will provide a legal remedy to the underlying dispute; civil law courts will make judgments regarding monetary compensation or enforce a part to abstain from a certain activity or to deliver a certain product or service to a party involved in the case. The civil law court system will deliver such judgments based on judge-made rulings, established statutes, or both depending on the particular jurisdiction.
Civil Legal Systems:
The majority of civil legal systems are derived from Roman law and the Cod of Justinian. Countries that maintain a developed civil legal system will rely on laws or codes that have been formally codified and affirmed through written documentation. In most cases, these civil legal systems do not rely on customs or develop case decisions into legal precedents. Within these types of systems, the courts will apply the principals outlined in established statutes when rendering a court decision.
The civil law system is distinguished from the majority of common law systems, which follow Anglo-Saxon principles. The basic common law systems are used by the United States to resolve disputes; in a common law system the judiciary will rely on case law and statutory law to find a resolution. When a decision is made, it will be used by judges as a precedent in deciding similar cases in the future.