Difference Between Criminal Law And Civil Law

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Law is a system of rules, manner or procedures recognised by practice, agreement, or authority. These rules run the activities of a community and control the actions of those within it. I am going to discuss the distinctions between criminal law and civil law under the following five headings:
• Classifications
• Parties Involved
• Objectives
• Tests
• Commencement of Proceedings

Classifications: criminal law is public law which runs the legal relationship between the citizen and the State, used in cases like murder or manslaughter, e.g. in the DPP v Murphy case a man was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment by the State. Civil law is private law that typically disputes between individuals regarding the legal duties and responsibilities they owe one another, used in cases like personal injury or injunctions, e.g. in the Jackson v O’Mahony case.

Parties Involved: for criminal law the parties involved are the prosecution (the DPP for indictable criminal offences and Gardaí for summary offences) and the defence (never required to prove their innocence and always entitled to remain silent until proven guilty. An exception if the defendant raises the defence of insanity - must prove they were suffering from a mental disorder when the offence was committed, or before the trial commenced). For civil law the party who brings the legal action is known as the plaintiff and the party being sued is the defendant.

Objectives: the objectives for criminal law

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