What Is Civil Law And Why It Is Important?

By Jessica Banks | Civil Law

Feb 02
Civil Law

Civil law is the formation of rules that protects and defines the private rights of citizens while covering areas such as torts, contracts, property and family law. These civil law systems trace their roots from the ancient Rome and its legislators and administrators use these doctrines to form a code by which all legal issues will be decided.

Most European and South American countries have a civil law system while England, Canada and the United States have a common law system which relies on prior court decisions to determine case final solution. Important difference between civil law systems and common law systems is in a common law jurisdiction where appellate courts may review only findings of law while civil law appellate courts may review findings of act as well as findings of law. Civil law is codified and common law is generally uncodified.


Primary goal of civil law is to provide compensation and resolve arguments for someone injured by some other person’s behavior or act. Actually injured person is the one that brings the lawsuit. These cases are concerned only with the private law. A civil law system is generally more prescriptive than a common law system. Judge is here to establish the facts of the case and apply the provisions of applicable code and he always must work within a framework established by codified set of laws.

There are four main categories of civil law cases and each has specific range of issues to cover.

Contract law

Is about agreements between two or more parties where each is obligated to hold up to their part of the agreement. These agreements or contracts can be written or oral while there are some types which have to be put in writing.

Tort law

Deals with civil wrong. This wrong is done by a person or entity to another which can result as a property damage or injury. There are three types of torts or civil wrongdoing and these are intentional tort, negligence and strict liability.

Property law

Is covering real property and personal property. In personal property belongs jewelry, merchandise and animals or intangible such as copyrights, bonds and stocks. Real property refers to anything built on some property or property for itself and anything under the surface of the same property.

Property law consists of two types of torts, conversion and trespass.

Family law

This is a branch of the civil law which deals with child custody, birth, adoption, child support, marriage, divorce and other family relation situations. This is a very specific category as there is not a necessarily a person who committed a civil wrong. There are some new categories that fall under this branch also such as artificial conception, surrogate motherhood, in-vitro fertilization and same-sex marriage.

Importance of civil law

This law branch is very important in society because it legally resolves issues where a complaining individuals feel accused or wronged. It serves to keep the public safety and well-being of society.

Leave a Comment:

Leave a Comment: