What is the difference between Criminal Law and Civil Law?

Take note of the article below that lists the differences between the Criminal law and the Civil Law. Know about the crimes they deal with and the punishments given in them.
Created On: Jul 9, 2021 17:51 IST
Modified On: Jul 9, 2021 18:30 IST
Difference between civil law and criminal law
Difference between civil law and criminal law

What is Criminal and Civil Law?

Civil law codifies a set of rules that deal with the behaviour of any individual or organization that can cause injury to any private party or individual.

Examples of Civil Law are defamation like libel and slander, breach of contract, negligence resulting in injury or death, and property damage.

Criminal law talks about the behaviour that can be construed as offensive to the public, society or the land (whose law it is). Examples can include theft, druken driving, murder, assault etc. 

The difference between the criminal law and the civil law can be done on the basis of their initiation, their judgments or how they are decided and what is the penalty in each of them. Another addition to the basis of difference could be what legal protection would be available to the defendants in each of them.  Take a look at them below. 

Difference between Criminal Law and Civil Law: 

Criminal Law Civil Law
Criminal Law deals with offences that are committed against the society. Civil Law is a general law. It solves disputes between 2 organisations or individuals.
The punishment of the offence would be as per the seriousness of the criminal offence committed. Also, a fine could be imposed. To settle the dispute, a compensation is provided to the aggrieved party in civil law cases. No such punishment is given in such cases.
In the case of Criminal law it the Government of India that needs to file the petition. Civil Law to exist needs the aggrieved individual or organisation.
Criminal law punishes the convicts, protects the citizens and ensures law and order in the land. The objective of Civil Law is to protect the rights of an individual or organisation. It needs to ensure the wrongs done to be rectified against the sufferer.
The petition cannot be filed directly in a court but a complaint must be first registered with the police and its investigation needs to be carried out. Thereafter a case can be filed in the court. The aggrieved party can file a case in a tribunal or a court
The accused is prosecuted in the court of law The victim or aggrieved party can sue those who offended it
In these cases the court is empowered charge a fine, imprison the guilty of a crime, or discharge the defendant. The court in such cases can only pass judgement to compensate for damage done to the aggrieved party.
Here, the defendant is considered either guilty or not guilty by the court. The defendant here is considered to be either liable or not liable.
Criminal law deals with specific serious crimes like murder, rape, robbery etc. Civil Law deals with Property, Money, Housing, Divorce, custody of a child in the event of divorce etc.

These were the differences between Civil Law and Criminal Law. The aspirants if exams like UPSC, Law (Judge exams) can go through these above. 

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FAQ

Is death penalty given in Civil law cases?

No, Civil laws penalty includes compensation and not death as a punishment

What are the examples of Criminal law?

The examples of Criminal laws include murder, theft, robbery, assault etc

What are the examples of Civil law?

The examples of civil law are defamation, negligence, contract breach or property damage

What are the four types of Civil Laws?

These include contracts, property, family relations, and civil wrongs causing physical injury or injury to property
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