Law cases can occur with almost any type of dispute, and types of cases can most easily be divided into criminal and civil law cases. Criminal law cases occur when the police or another agency, such as HM Revenue & Customs or the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), decide to prosecute because a person has committed a criminal offence. Civil law cases occur when one person or company decides to sue another for a civil wrong they have committed. The main difference between civil and criminal cases is that civil remedies are designed to compensate the wronged person and criminal cases are meant to punish the perpetrator of the crime.
Law cases are decided by judges according to statute, which is law written by the government. They also use previously decided cases to assist them to make a decision. When a case is decided by a judge, that case must be decided in accordance with the law – but people interpret the law in different ways and by this premise, if one of the parties believe that the law has been incorrectly interpreted, they may be able to appeal to get that point of law considered by a higher court. The higher the court, the more important the decision is to cases that follow it.
Civil and criminal law cases have different burdens of proof. A burden of proof is how definitely one party must show the other party did as they are accused. In criminal cases the prosecution must prove ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that the defendant committed the offence. In civil cases the claimant must show ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that the defendant did as they are accused.
If you would like to obtain legal advice on law, Caven can put you in touch with a relevant local specialist solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.
- Last Updated on 02/03/2010