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

The Difference between Civil Law and Criminal Law

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Difference between Civil Law and Criminal Law One way of looking at criminal law is that it is dealing with something of public awareness. For instance, the public has awareness in seeing that people are protected from being robbed or assaulted. These are legal problems that fall into the criminal law. Criminal law involves punishing and rehabilitating offenders, and protecting the public. Since the public has an interest in having criminal law, we give the government the power to put it in place and enforce it. The police and Crown Prosecutors are hired by the government to put the criminal law into effect. Public funds are used to pay for these services. If you are the injured party of a crime, you report it to the police and they have the duty to investigate. They arrest and charge the suspect. In most cases, if a charge has been properly laid and if there is evidence supporting it, the Crown Prosecutor, not the person who complains of the incident, prosecutes it in the courts. ...read more.

Middle

This is not the case in civil law. Civil law is about private disputes between individuals or between individuals and organizations. Civil matters include areas such as contract law, family law, tort law, property law and labour law. The person suing for a wrong has the burden of proving their case on a "balance of probabilities." This means that a judge or jury must believe their story and evidence more than the defendant's version. They do not need to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. Civil disputes usually involve some harm, loss or injury to one party or their property. Unlike criminal law; however, civil law is primarily involved with compensating victims. If a civil action is successful, the defendant will be responsible for the wrongful action. While a defendant in a criminal case may be found "guilty" or "not guilty," a defendant in a civil case is said to be "liable" or "not liable" for damages. ...read more.

Conclusion

Specifically, the definition of first degree murder in the context of the O.J. case requires that the act be done deliberately and with a great deal of malice directed toward the victim. And to convict in the criminal court, the case against the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case for wrongful death, on the other hand, you have to show only that the defendant was legally responsible for the death. But, to get punitive damages, as the plaintiffs did in the O.J. case, you have to show that the defendant acted recklessly. The burden of proof in a civil case is preponderance of the evidence -- a much lesser burden than is required in a criminal case. So, while a criminal jury might reasonably fail to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and acquit the accused, a civil jury might also reasonably find by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she acted recklessly and should be held civilly accountable for the death. ...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

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

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

    3 star(s)

    The constable searching the person may seize and retain anything he finds, if he has reasonable grounds for believing that the person searched might use it to cause physical injury to himself or to any other person. A magistrate can issue an arrest warrant, this means that it is issued

  2. Study the concept of Reasonable man and reasonability in tort law.

    His standard of care when driving on a public road was to be assessed objectively disregarding any mental capacity, just as any physical infirmity or inexperience would be disregarded if the defendant elected to drive. 3.Intelligence The defendant's actions must conform to certain criteria expected of a person of normal intelligence in a given situation.

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

    Insanity pleas lead to an acquittal. The type of murder seems to impinge on this. If you are high profile case, the courts are less willing to accept a plea of diminished responsibility, because public opinion would not favor it.

  2. Explain the need for discipline in at least two public services. Analyse the role ...

    Rules and regulations are in place to make sure that the esprit de corps is maintained. And if a member of that particular public service breaks the rules then he or she is disciplined. A member miss-behaving could bring a bad name upon the specific public service, having pride about the work you carry out would avoid this.

  1. Property, Liberty, and the Law

    There are also trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. To get a U.S. patent, an application must be filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Conflicting sources say a patent is unrestricted for seventeen to twenty years from the date of filing, meaning that an inventor has seventeen to

  2. The Age Of Criminal Responsibility

    The Ministry of Justice hit back saying that "Those over 10 knew the difference between bad behaviour and serious wrongdoing". Using the information provided on the BBC News website, I have produced a table below showing the age of criminal responsibility in a number of different countries: AGES OF CRIMINAL

  1. The Law Relating to Negotiable Instruments

    92). In addition, a negotiable instrument is dishonored by non-payment when presentment for payment is excused and the instrument when overdue remains unpaid (Sec. 76). A drawee in case of need must accept, or pay a bill when presentment is made.

  2. Is there a tort of invasion of privacy?

    again, even before the Human rights Act the courts were slowly developing a tort of invasion of privacy based on breach of confidence. The Court of Appeal did not consider a claim based on breach of confidence in Kaye v Robinson15 and the point as to whether there was a

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