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A Detailed Overview Of Civil Law Vs Criminal Law Essay


Task: Conduct a detailed comparison in between civil law Vs criminal law essay


The discipline of law could be classified into two further divisions of criminal law, and civil law and the same concept is discussed in the below section of this Civil law vs Criminal law essay. There are some significant differences between these two disciplines.

Civil law vs Criminal law essay

It is in the high courts and county courts that the civil cases are majorly dealt with. It is majorly to protect the rights and privileges of citizens that civil laws are created. It is majorly the amount of money involved in the case or dispute that determines whether it could be brought under the classification of civil law. Below are listed down such classifications. Let’s have a detailed look over it.

  • The cases coming under the dispute below £ 5000 are considered under the jurisdiction of County court. The cases are dealt with by the fast track judicial system, which would help in significantly reducing the wastage of time and money to solve the existing dispute.
  • The case will be dealt with in the high court if the amount involved in the dispute is more than £ 50000.
  • The dispute below £ 25000 is dealt under the jurisdictions of county courts (1).

It is primarily the magistrate courts that deal with cases of criminal nature, and they are transferred to Crown courts if the comprised dispute is of a more serious nature.

It is in between two different individuals or in between an organization and an individual that a civil case occurs. Whereas the defendants are the party, who is being accused of unlawful activities, the party who files for a case by accusing the defendants are called the claimant. The claimant normally charges a case against the defendants claiming compensation for the damage or unlawful activity committed. It is the judge who determines whether the claim is genuine or not.

It is to protect the citizens from anti-social elements and to provide proper punishment to the people who willfully commit unlawful activities that the criminal laws are established by the government. It is the individuals who have committed the critically unlawful activities which get accused of the criminal charges. In most of the cases, the claimant party in the criminal cases would be the government itself and accuses the citizens who have committed serious criminal activities. The same process is also known as the act of prosecution in legal terms. It is the body of the Crown Prosecution Service that initiates the process of prosecution on behalf of the government and provides hard punishments like imprisonments and large fines to the culprits. The major sections which are handled by the civil law department are listed down in the below section of this article on criminal law vs civil law essay.

  • Malicious defamation of individuals.
  • Any dispute related to property and other possessions.
  • Copyright and plagiarism issues
  • Dispute related to employment and work environment.
  • Consumer related issues
  • Dispute in agreements and contracts (2).

The aspects handled by the criminal law department.

  • Act of theft
  • Rape
  • Physical attack
  • Homicide
  • Mass killing
  • Cheating

Another prominent difference mentioned in this civil law vs criminal law essay is the requirement of evidence. Whereas the amount of evidence is required very less in civil cases, the significance of the same is very crucial in criminal law essays. It will be considered sufficient enough under civil laws if the probability of the defendant being guilty is established. Though the decisions made by the court in the civil cases are not the final ones, and the same could be challenged in higher courts like the House of Lords or Court of Appeal (3).

In both of the cases, the final decision whether the defendant is guilty of the accusation or not could only be made by the magistrate present in the jury panel. The only condition is that the claim charged by the prosecution should be proven on the ground of reasonable doubt.

It is described in this Civil law vs Criminal law essay that the jurisdiction of the county court is only limited to the disputes under the classification of civil cases. The initiation of a civil case could be started in the county court situated at any place and could be later transferred to the defendant’s court at a local place.

The county court could be considered one of the lowest sector in the judicial hierarchy, though it deals with a wide range of legal disputes such as:

  • Simple divorce cases
  • The dispute between the tenants and landlords.
  • Disputes related to employment
  • Property and land boundary disputes
  • Loans and debts
  • Claims regarding accidental and individual injury
  • Act of discrimination on various grounds
  • Consumer complaints and related disputes

The decisions in the county court are made by the judge present in the panel, and if it is proven that the defendant is guilty, then it is ordered by the judicial authority to provide a required amount of money to the claimant. The amount should be paid in a lump sum or instalments as decided by the magistrate bench. The court works as a decisive body to provide compensation to the victim.

Though the scenario of the crown court is quite different, and only the cases with serious charges are attended here. The decisions, in this case, could not be made by a single person and at least a legislative bench of judges is required to promulgate related verdicts. The serious grounds and relevant pieces of evidence require to be presented while hearing to pass sentence punishing the defendant.

It is according to the seriousness of the committed crime that the defendant is punished when proven guilty. The punishments would be of severe nature which includes imprisonments and heavy financial fines. The imprisonment is charged as a form of community sentencing in the form of probation to keep the defendant out of the society.

 It is described in this Civil law vs Criminal law essay that the parties who are not satisfied by the verdict of lower courts also appeal to the crown court and the panel with a minimum of two judges hears the case.

The significance and quality of the evidence presented before both the civil law vs criminal law essay are entirely different. The legal quality of the evidence in civil cases is very low, and only the aspect of balancing the probabilities is taken into account in this context. The legal burden is often levied on the claimant in the case of civil cases where they are responsible for stating the fact before the judiciary. Though in some exceptional cases, this burden would shift from the claimant to the defendant.

The process of jurisdiction is much different in the case of criminal cases where the whole accusation should be proven on reasonable ground. Any sort of loophole or confusion in the authenticity of evidence would lead to failing the claim. It is the prosecution that raises the charges against the culprit, and the liability shifts over the defendant to prove the claims wrong.

It is the concept of a Guilty act which is signified by the term Actus Reus. It is the convention that should be proven before stating whether the defendant is liable for any sort of punishment or fine. It should be by following the procedures mentioned under the criminal law procedures and other conventions that the Actus Reus should be stated against the defendant. The existence of the Actus Reus would prove the commencement of criminal activity by the defendant.

The Latin terminology Mens Rea signifies the presence of a guilty mind within the defendant. The parameter would measure the mentality of the criminal while pursuing the unlawful act.

Both of the terms differ in the ideology permeated regarding the actual intention of the individual while commencing the unlawful activity. Let us take an instance when the act of murder is committed by a person unintentionally. The act would be considered under the classification of Actus Reus. Though contrary to the mentioned content in the above section of this Civil law vs Criminal law essay, if the same act of murdering is done by the individual intentionally with a malicious mindset is considered under the concept of Mens Rea.

Civil law vs Criminal law essay

There is a significant difference between the contractual offers and the invitation to treat. If considered the concept under the invitation to treat, it could be mentioned as the proposal of party A to another party B to promulgate an order (4). At the same time, the case of contractual offer signifies the condition in which a definitive is offered from one party to another party. The engaged parties are defined as offeree and offeror in the case of a contractual offer. It is the party who accepts the order is termed as the offeree, and the party which makes the offer to the other party is called the offeror.

Let us take the example of the Partridge vs Crittenden case in 1968, to describe the concepts of invitation to treat and contractual offer. By publishing an advertisement, the defendant had decided to sell the poultry at the rate of 25 shillings per unit (5). It was held by the decision of the court that the advertisement should be considered just as an invitation to treat. The defendant though has given out such advertisement possessed only limited stock. The major aim of the defendant was just to somehow clear the existing stock. At the same time if the court had ruled the act under the category of contractual offers, then the defendant would have been liable to sell the goods at the offered price to all the clients who approached them.

Consider another case where the shop is displaying a good at a certain price. It then depends upon the customer whether to accept this offer or not. In the case of Partridge vs Crittenden case in 1968, the product of Chocoholic Hamper was decided to be sold at the price of £ 19.99 by an envelope (6). The instance was not considered as a contractual offer and was justified as the invitation to treat. It implies that no one is obliged to buy the product at the displayed price.

Taking a contrary situation, the proposed advertisement may also turn out into legal obligations by the proposal made by the advertiser. Let us consider one of the cases, Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co in the year 1893. The defending parties were the production team of smoke balls which claimed to cure the condition of influenza. The company even went on, claiming that the customers would be awarded £ 100 if they would get affected by the condition of influenza. One of the consumers was affected by influenza even after the regular consumption of the smoke balls and applied for the claim of £ 100 from the company. The instance was considered as an offer by the court of appeal, and thus the defendants were deemed to provide compensation to the claimant. The defendant is deemed to be legally bound to the claimant.

We hope that the article has provided a detailed insight into the difference between civil law vs criminal law essays.


  1. Coffee Jr, John C. "Paradigms Lost: The Blurring of the Criminal and Civil Law Models--And What Can Be Done About It. Civil law vs Criminal law essay " Yale LJ 101 (1991): 1875.
  2. Cole, George F., Stanis?aw Frankowski, and Marc G. Gertz, eds. Major criminal justice systems. Civil law vs Criminal law essay, Beverly Hills, California: Sage Publications, 1981.
  3. Fellmeth, Aaron Xavier. "Civil and Criminal Sanctions in the Constitution and Courts." Civil law vs Criminal law essay, LJ 94 (2005): 1.
  4. LaFave, Wayne R. Principles of criminal law, Civil law vs Criminal law essay, Thomson/West, 2003.
  5. McGinnis, Janice Dickin. "Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company: Influenza, Quackery, and the Unilateral Contract." Civil law vs Criminal law essay. Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 5.2 (1988): 121-141.
  6. Yin, Tung. "A Carbolic Smoke Ball for the Nineties: Class-Based Affirmative Action." Civil law vs Criminal law essay. LAL Rev. 31 (1997): 213.

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