Civil Law Vs. Common Law
Every country in today’s society has laws which are established within their country that they need to follow. If people do not follow these rules, then they face the appropriate consequences for disobeying them. Some countries are run similar, and others are run very differently. There are two major traditional laws which are civil and common law. These are the two most frequent laws throughout the world. Civil is the recognizable countries especially in Europe and Asia. Common law is more natural amongst North America. Both of these were historically established several decades ago. There are several differences between the two laws, but they do overlap with some similarities also.
The term civil law derives from the Latin word is civil, the law applicable to all Roman citizens. This was established in the sixteenth century. Europe was the first to adopt this law and just about all of Europe taught this at all their universities. Civil law is considered codified. Each civil law country has their codes to determine the different punishments for each of the types of law. A few examples of these codes are procedural, substantive, and penal. Procedural law decides what activities constitute a criminal act, the substantive law establishes which are required of civil or criminal prosecution, and penal law determines the proper penalties. It’s the judge’s job to gather the facts of the case and distinguish the correct codes that apply to the case.
The main countries that civil law is in now are China, Japan, Germany, France, and Spain. Each of these countries has a written constitution. One major difference between civil law and common law is that it’s needed for the country always to have a written constitution. On the other hand, common law does not always have one. An issue that one can assert is that civil law isn’t as effective because it’s broken up into various codes and not just one whole. But civil law using several codes to put input into these issues helps with the last decision.
Common law is similar but also very distinct from civil law. This law is uncodified which means there is no compilation of legal rules and statutes. These laws are also called case laws or precedent. A key difference between the two laws is that the common laws have been developed based on outcomes that have occurred in old court cases. By way of example, when there is a case the parties disagree on then they refer back to precedential decisions of relevant courts and adhere to the reasoning used by those courts. It’s considered more complex than many other simplified systems because there are some distinct courts within the system but not all have the same power of jurisdiction. Some courts having more powers than others can cause issues within these rules because not everyone has an equal say.
Common law was established in the middle ages at the King’s Court. It exists in America now, but its origin is England. It mainly exists in North America but is also spread amongst some other countries. The states embraced it after the American Revolution. There were many guidelines around the world during this period, but common law took dominance during the seventeenth century.