Topics: Common law, Law, Law of the United States Pages: 3 (779 words) Published: April 8, 2013
Substantive law is 'law' that defines, regulates, and creates the obligations and rights of a particular party. In other words, many state and federal statutes are substantive laws that create causes of action and allow for individuals to bring forth claims that their rights under these substantive laws have been violated. Occasionally, substantive law is indicated as domestic law or material law.

By contrast, procedural laws or adjective laws are laws that dictate the precise steps that a party must take in order to have a particular right (created by a substantive law) enforced by the courts. Notably, however, some procedural laws can ultimately make or break a case.

Substantive law encompasses both criminal and civil law since it defines the boundaries, limitations, and exceptions. For instance, substantive law addresses what types of felonies and misdemeanors exist as well as the punishment for violations thereof while procedural law addresses how violations of these crimes can be punished.

For example:
* Laws which define the various degrees of murder are substantive laws, while laws which protect the right to a speedy trial for people accused of murder are procedural laws. * Most jurisdictions have statutes of limitation in place that set forth a specific amount of time during which an individual can bring a cause of action in court. In many cases, if a party does not adhere to the statute of limitations, this procedural law can then bar the party from adjudicating their claims.

Substantive and procedural law are the two main areas of the law, and they are closely interconnected with each other, as one defines the rules of society while the other creates the framework for enforcing them. Both are necessary for one or the other’s effectiveness in maintaining order in a state or country. Procedural law comprises the rules by which a court hears and determines what happens in...
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