Defining Laws and Describing the Differences
Topics: Law, Common law / Pages: 2 (496 words) / Published: Sep 23rd, 2014

Defining Laws and Describing the Differences

LAW/421
December 09, 2013

Defining Laws and Describing the Differences

There are classifications and categories of law that can be helpful to use to determine what law corresponds with a particular action or crime. Some of the laws we will be looking at in this paper are; substantive law, procedural law, criminal law, civil law, common law, and statutory law.
Two of the first laws that we can define and find differences in are the common law and statutory law. If we look at common law, it is derived from custom and judicial precedents versus statutes. Whereas statutory law according to Melvin (2011) “statutory law stem from the authority of the legislature” (p. 10). One example of the statutory law could be the trial of MacPherson v. Buick Motor Company in 1916, which a judge based his decision on a similar case that was tried a year earlier against Cadillac.
There are notable differences with civil laws and criminal laws; these are two very different laws. The civil law can be described as a body of law directly concerning the rights and duties between two parties. Some example of civil laws are; being sued for not paying rent, violating a contract, or producing and selling an inferior product, this is considered to be more of a compensation or restitution law. The wrongdoer is not punished; he or she simply needs to make good on the wrong they have done. However, the criminal law is very much different. This law deals with crime and legal punishment of criminal offenses such as theft and murder. Within a criminal law, the standard of proof must be within a reasonable doubt, whereas the civil law must provide a preponderance of evidence.
There are both similarities and differences between substantive law and procedural law. If we look at substantive law, it can be defined as a general principle or set of rules defining the legal rights and duties of people. While the procedural law



References: LegalFlip.com. (2009-2013). Retrieved from http://www.legalflip.com/LegalWordOfTheDay.aspx?id=21 Melvin, S. P. (2011). The Legal Environment of Business A Managerial Approach. New York, New York: McGraw Hill.

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