Civil law


Civil law is a term which may refer to two different concepts. Civil law is commonly used to define a legal system which is based on governmental Acts – as opposed to the system of common law, used in conjunction with legislative law England and Wales, in which the laws are based on past court decisions. When the term is used in the UK it usually refers to an area of law which encapsulates all of the legal rules and regulations which have to do with disputes between two private parties. Civil law is different from criminal law (where one party represents the government or the crown), international law or administrative law.

Lawsuits which are brought under civil law must comply with the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) - a set of guidelines and regulations which are published periodically and designed to ensure the courts have the opportunity to treat every case fairly. However, litigation can become expensive and prolonged because of the many requirements of the CPR. As an alternative, parties to a civil law dispute can choose to resolve their disputes through mediation or arbitration. Under these alternatives the parties are able to decide privately (without involving the courts) on a mutually acceptable resolution. These alternatives are clearly not suitable for criminal law cases, but they are available in international law.

If you are involved in a dispute, it is most likely governed by civil law, regardless of whether the dispute relates to contract, tort or family law. Understanding your legal rights in a civil law dispute is crucial to ensuring a successful resolution. You may find that speaking to legal professionals can be of great benefit to you.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on civil law, Caven can put you in touch with a local specialised / civil rights solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local specialised / civil rights solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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