Classification of law
Law may be classified in various different ways but the most important classification of law is as follows: – Municipal Law and International Law, Public Law and Private Law, Criminal Law and Civil Law, Substantive Law and Procedural Law.
Law is classified into four different categories: –
- Municipal Law and International Law
- Public Law and Private Law
- Substantive Law and Procedural Law
- Civil Law and Criminal Law
1. Municipal Law and International Law
Meaning of Municipal Law: – Municipal law is the law of that nation; it is domestic law that governs the subjects of the state. This is contrary to International law. Municipal Law regulates relations between the individuals under the sway of the respective State and the relations between this State and the respective individuals. State approves the law. It is generally regional in nature as it is applied within the territory of the country itself.
Municipal law can be divided into: –
- Public law: – Public law is the part of law that governs relations between legal persons and a government, between different institutions within a state, between different branches of governments, as well as relationships between persons that are of direct concern to society.
- Private law: – Private Law is concerned with the relationship between individuals with one another or private relationship between citizens and companies that are not of public importance.
Meaning of International law: – International law is a set of rules which are binding between countries and aims to ensure security and peace among various nations. It is an independent system of law existing outside the legal framework of a particular state. International law has been incorporated into national law by various countries such that the United States has declared that all international law will be part of the nation’s law.
Even the UK has incorporated in its municipal laws and whenever there is a conflict between international law and municipal law courts, decisions have to be taken keeping in mind the harmonious construction between them.
International law can be classified into four: –
- Customary International law: – These are rules that have been in force since ancient times between countries such as the law of the sea.
- Treaty law: – These are rules made by treaties between two or more countries.
- Public International law: – These are the rules that govern the conduct and relations of the state with others.
- Private International law: – It contains rules and principles according to which cases with foreign elements are decided.
2. Public Law and Private Law
Meaning of Public law: – Public law is the part of law that governs relations between legal persons and a government, between different institutions within a state, between different branches of governments, as well as relationships between persons that are of direct concern to society. The activities of the state are regulated by public law.
It determines and controls the organization and functioning of the state and also determines the relationship of the state with its subjects. The term ‘public’ means a state or a sovereign part of it or a body, or a person holding a delegated authority under the state.
Public law can be further divided into: –
- Constitutional Law: – Constitutional Law is the law that determines the nature of the state and the structure of government. It is above and supreme from the general law of the land. It describes the structure and function of the three organs of the state. Ordinary law derives its value from constitutional law.
- Administrative Law: – Administrative law is the body of law that gives permission for the creation of public regulatory agencies and includes all the laws, judicial decisions, and rules. This law is created by administrative agencies and the purpose is to implement their powers and duties in the form of rules, regulations, orders and decisions.
- Criminal Law: – It is the body of law that defines criminal offenses, regulates the cognizance, create charges and trial of suspects, and also fixes the methods of punishment and treatment applicable to convicted offenders. Its purpose is to stop crime and punish the wrongdoer.
Meaning of Private law: – Private law is the branch of law that deals with the rights and duties of private individuals and the relationship between them. Private law deals with the rights and obligations of individuals, families, businesses and small groups and exists to assist citizens in disputes involving private matters.
Further classification of private law is as follows: –
- Law of the person
- Property law
- Law of liability conflict of laws
The law of liability is divided into 3 classes: –
- The contracts
Difference between Public and Private Law
|S.No.||Public Law||Private Law|
|1.||Public law deals with issues that affect the general public or the state – society as a whole.||Private law deals with the rights and obligations of individuals, families, businesses and small groups and exists to assist citizens in disputes involving private matters.|
|2.||Public law includes inter-relationships between the state and the general population.||Private law includes participation among private citizens.|
|3.||Public law consists of three subdivisions: Constitutional, administrative and criminal law.||Private law consists of the law of obligations and the law of torts.|
|4.||Public law deals with a larger scope.||Private law operates with a more specific scope.|
|5.||Public law focuses more on the issues that affect the general public or the state itself.||Private Law deals more with the issues affecting private individuals, or corporations.|
3. Civil Law and Criminal Law
Meaning of Civil law: – Civil law deals with behavior that causes injury to an individual or other private party, such as a corporation. Example of civil law is defamation, breach of contract, negligence which is resulting in injury or death, and property damage. In civil law, cases are initiated (suits are filed) by a private party (the plaintiff); cases are usually decided by a judge; punishment almost always consists of a monetary award and never consists of imprisonment; the plaintiff must establish the defendant’s liability only according to the “preponderance of evidence”; and defendants are not entitled to the same legal protections as are the criminally accused.
Meaning of Criminal law: – Criminal law deals with behavior that can be recognized as a crime against the public, society, or the state – even if the immediate victim is a person. Examples of the same are murder, assault, theft and drunk driving. In criminal law, it deals with looking after public interests. It involves punishing and rehabilitating offenders, and protecting the society. The police and prosecutor are hired by the government to put the criminal law into effect. Public funds are used to pay for these services. If suppose you are the victim of the crime, you report it to the police and then it is their duty to investigate the matter and find the suspect. In most cases, if a charge has been properly presented and if there is evidence supporting it, the Government, not the person who complains of the incident, prosecutes it in the courts.
Difference between Civil and Criminal Law
|S.No.||Civil Law||Criminal Law|
|1.||Civil law deals with the disputes between individuals, organizations, or between the two, in which compensation is awarded to the victim.||Criminal law deals with crimes that are committed against society. Criminal law is the body of law that deals with crime and the legal punishment of criminal offenses.|
|2.||According to civil law, the wrongdoer has to pay compensation to the affected organization or person.||It serves different degrees of punishment for the crime committed.|
|3.||Civil law deals with property, money, housing, divorce, custody of a child in the event of a divorce, etc.||Criminal law deals with serious crimes like murder, rape, arson, robbery, assault etc.|
|4.||Civil law is initiated by a person or organization or also known as the plaintiff. ‘||The government files a petition in a criminal law case.|
|5.||In the case of civil law, there is no punishment like criminal law, but the aggrieved party receives compensation and the dispute is resolved.||As a matter of criminal law, the punishment is done according to the severity of the offense or a fine can be imposed.|
|6.||Criminal law is the body of law that deals with crime and the legal punishment of criminal offenses.||“Beyond a reasonable doubt”: Burden of proof is always on the state/government.|
4. Substantive Law and Procedural Law
Meaning of Substantive Law: – Substantive law is the law which governs the original rights and obligations of individuals. Substantive law may derive from the common law, statutes, or a constitution. For example, a claim to recover for breach of contract or negligence or fraud would be a common law substantive right. This law refers to the body of rules that determine the rights and obligations of individuals and collective bodies.
Meaning of Procedural Law: – Procedural law establishes the legal rules by which substantive law is created, enforced and applied, especially in a court of law. Procedural law refers to the different processes through which a case proceeds. Procedural laws define the rules with which substantive laws may be enforced.
Difference between Substantive and Procedural Law
|S.No.||Substantive Law||Procedural Law|
|1.||It establishes the rights, obligations and duties of other persons or persons with the state.||It follows the means and methods through which adequate legislation is enforced.|
|2.||It has independent powers to decide the fate of each case.||It has no independent authority to decide the fate of each case.|
|3.||This law cannot be applied in non-legal contexts.||This law can be applied in both legal and non-legal contexts.|
|4.||It does not specifically deal with proceedings inside a court.||It deals with what is happening inside the court.|
|5.||These laws are regulated by Acts of Parliament or government implementation.||These laws are regulated by statutory laws.|