Essay The Difference Between Civil Law and Criminal Law

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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…show more content…
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. If you have a civil law problem, you have to take action yourself if you want to get a legal remedy. You can hire a private lawyer, and you will have to pay the expenses of pursuing the matter. For example, if you hire someone to paint your house and they do a poor job, it is a dispute between you and the painter. The police do not get involved. If you want to sue the painter for breach of contract, it is your responsibility to do so.
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