What is Civil Law

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What is Civil Law


Civil law is defined as a set of rules (the law) that defines and protects the private rights of citizens.  Civil law offers legal remedies that can be sought in a dispute, and encompasses areas of law such as contracts, torts, property and family law. Civil law is originated from the laws of ancient Rome which used doctrines to develop a code that determined how legal questions would be decided.

What is Civil Law

Civil Law evolved from Emperor Justinian I rule of ancient Rome. One of his long lasting and prominent legacies is his rewriting of the Roman law in “Corpus Juris Civilis,”. This book still serves as a basis for modern civil law systems worldwide.

In the United States, civil law has a few different meanings. In most parts of the United States, civil law is synonymous with “common law.  Common law relies on prior court decisions to determine the outcome of current cases.

Branches of Civil Law


Civil law cases are generally divided into four main categories, each with it’s own unique range of issues.

Contract Law

Contract law deals with arrangements between two or more parties, each of which will be bound to maintain their section of the agreement. By way of instance, two parties enter into an agreement for the rental of an apartment. The Lessor has the right to use the apartment, and the landlord receives lease money as compensation. If one party violates any of the terms and conditions of the contract, they’ve committed a civil wrong called “breach of contract.” Broadly, contracts may be oral or written, however there are certain kinds of contracts that have to be placed in writing.

Tort Law

Tort law is a branch of civil law that is concerned with personal injury and civil wrongdoing. A tort is a civil wrong, done by a single individual or thing to another which leads to harm or property damage, and often involves monetary compensation to the injured party. There are 3 types of torts: negligence, intentional tort, and strict liability.


Negligence is an unintentional tort, to which there Are four elements that have to be satisfied.


  1. Duty. The defendant had a duty to behave in a reasonable manner


  1. Breach of Duty, meaning that the defendant failed to act reasonably


  1. Causation. The defendant’s breach of duty must be the Cause of the plaintiff’s harm or loss


  1. Damages. Monetary, property, or other reduction


An intentional tort is a deliberate wrongdoing where the defendant acted With intent to cause injury or harm. A few examples of intentional torts include: assault and battery, false imprisonment, fraud, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of psychological distress.


Strict liability is a tort that does not require real negligence or intent to injure. It’s based on a complete or”strict” obligation to guarantee something is safe. Strict liability often comes into play hazardous activities, such as bungee jumping. The company that owns the bungee cords, or provides the activity to customers, has an absolute obligation to make certain that the bungee cords are intact, hooked up properly, and are prepared to operate safely. If a consumer is injured since the cable breaks or comes undone, the provider is responsible for the injury under strict liability.


Property Law


Property law covers both personal property and real property. Personal property can be concrete, such as jewelry, animals, and product, or intangible such as patents, copyrights, stocks, and bonds. Real property refers to property and anything built on it which can’t be easily removed, in addition to anything below the surface of the land, such as oil and minerals. There are two kinds of property law torts: trespass and conversion.


  • Trespass to chattels identifies a defendant intentionally and physically interfering with the plaintiff’s right to possession and use of the personal property.


  • Trespass to property happens when a defendant enters plaintiff’s personal property without consent of the plaintiff.


  • Conversion refers to a defendant depriving a plaintiff of the personal property without the plaintiff’s permission, and then using the plaintiff’s property as his own.


For example, a woman sees her neighbor planting Flowers in her backyard, and notices she’s five additional containers of flowers without a place to plant them. The lady decides she’d like flowers in her backyard also, and takes the leftover containers of flowers without asking for permission from your neighbor. The woman deprived the neighbor of her flowers, planting them rather in her own garden. The lady has dedicated conversion.


Family Law

 Family law is the branch of civil law that deals with marriage, Divorce, annulment, child custody, adoption, birth, kid Support, and some other issues affecting families. This branch of Civil law is unique because there isn’t necessarily a man who committed a civil wrong. This is especially true in countries that have no-fault divorces. The family court gets involved in dividing Property and finances following a divorce, establishing child custody, child support, and spousal support among other things. Some newer Areas that fall under the family law umbrella are same-sex union, artificial conception, surrogate motherhood, in-vitro fertilization, and palimony.

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