• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the essential differences between Civil and Criminal Law particularly in relation to their aims and objectives.

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the essential differences between Civil and Criminal Law particularly in relation to their aims and objectives. Justice should be the upholding of rights and the punishment of wrongs by the law. Any society has a duty to its citizens to do the best it can to provide them with laws, which, if obeyed, will give them a reasonably safe environment. These laws will also form a framework in which to live our lives. Whether in criminal or civil law we each have a responsibility for our actions towards others. Criminal law is the upholding of standards and punishing those who break laws and offend against society. Civil law is concerned with compensating the victims of injustice- " The Criminal Justice System exists to help protect us from crime, and to ensure that criminals are punished. The Civil Justice is there to help people resolve their disputes fairly and peacefully"(Lord Irvine of Lairg, Lord Chancellor, Modernising Justice 1998) One main difference between Civil and Criminal law is their sole purpose. Both Civil and criminal law has main aims however they differ quite substantially. ...read more.


The phrase "Beyond reasonable doubt" is very significant when talking about the standard of proof required for a Criminal conviction. The accused in a Criminal case must be proved guilty beyond all reasonable doubt for a conviction to be made. This is because the rules of evidence are much stricter in a Criminal case, for example- a confession must be examined very carefully to see if any pressure was put on the accused to confess, however In a Civil case a confession will be readily accepted. This shows how much more serious a Criminal case is considered in relation to a Civil one. The Claimant in a Civil case only has to prove that his case is marginally stronger than that of the defendant in order to succeed. The Civil standard generally openly tolerates a substantial margin of error. As in many countries, England has found if convenient to set up separate systems for Criminal cases and Civil cases. Therefore both have different courts. The Criminal court structure is progressive, this means that all cases start at the Magistrate's court, and the more serious cases move on trial to the Crown court. ...read more.


Under the criminal law a person who has offended may be prosectued by the state, if found guilty this will punish them and leave them with a criminal record hopefully prevent them from crime again. In Civil law this is not so. The defendant is never found guilty, and is never punished. A Civil case is between individuals, a Criminal case is the action of the state against an individual, this is because the criminal has offended against society and so he/she is punished by society as a whole, in the name of the queen. In conclusion, It is important to note that the same series of events may give rise to both a Criminal and a Civil case. For example if a person has exceeded the speed limit and driven carelessly causing and accident and damaging another person's car, they can be faced with two main consequences. Under the Criminal law they may be prosecuted by society for driving offences, and under Civil law they may be sued by the injured party or their insurance company for damage to the car and any injury caused. In this case they would be forced to pay compensation. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Summary - this is a well written piece which brings out most of the differences between the civil and criminal justice and court systems.
Rating: ****

Marked by teacher Nick Price 01/05/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Law essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Distinguish Criminal law from Civil law in the English Legal System. Outline the jurisdiction ...

    4 star(s)

    The lay magistracy remains predominately white, middle aged, middle class and conservative. The other court of trial for a criminal case is the Crown Court. Indictable offences like murder can only be dealt with in this court and also triable offences for example, all theft cases.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The Police and Criminal Evidence Acts 1984-provides an effective balance between the powers of ...

    3 star(s)

    This section does not allow a constable to do any of the above unless he has reasonable grounds for suspecting that he will find stolen or prohibited articles.' ______ The right of freedom of movement must be maintained within this section.

  1. There are four different types of law, criminal, civil, common and statuate. In this ...

    All new laws are statuate laws even though some are based on common laws, which have gone before. This is because as times change the old common laws start to form holes in which new age crimes can slip through.

  2. The Importance of Law in Our Society

    We have all experienced the loss of a loved one. Try to remember that grief. Now try to add the anger one would feel if that person was brutally murdered. It's unfathomable, isn't it? Everyday people go through that pain and anger and everyday they are relieved from the worry

  1. Is the imposition of strict liability ever justifiable in criminal law?

    as potential offenders are aware that if any prosecution is brought against them, there is a good chance of conviction, due to the nature of strict liability. Elliot and Quinn (p.33.1) tell us that 'strict liability makes enforcing offences easier.'

  2. Criminal Law (Offences against the person) - revision notes

    M won (obviously) Intention? No Foreseen death or GBH? No but convicted of murder Appealed COA � HOL and decided to change the Hyam direction to the Maloney test (two tier test) (Lord Bridge) 1. Was death or GBH a NATURAL CONSEQUENCE of the defendants actions and did the defendant see that one or other of the consequences would follow this act?

  1. Was Saxon justice harsh and superstitious?

    A tithing was a group of ten people. All males over the age of twelve had to belong to a tithing. This meant that they were responsible for each other's behaviour. If a member of the tithing broke the law, the others had to bring him to court or pay the compensation fine to the victim.

  2. civil law, criminal law and habeas corpus

    To investigate the distribution of crime and the characteristics of criminals, criminologists examine such factors as their age, sex, ethnic background, social class, and place of residence. Criminologists are also interested in the causes of crime. The Italian physician Cesare Lombroso (1836-1909), who is often identified as the first empirical

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work