During last week’s session multiple types of laws were introduced and their differences were discussed. One of the types of laws that were discussed were civil laws. Civil laws were created to “compensate parties and businesses for losses as a result of another’s conduct” (Melvin, 2011). This means that these laws were created for certain types of conduct against another party to be handled civilly between them. For any type of offense that is handled civilly, the defendant will need to repay the plaintiff for any loss suffered. Another type of law is criminal law. Criminal laws “are a protection of society and the violation of criminal laws results in penalties to the violator such as fines or imprisonment” (Melvin, 2011). This means that these laws were created to protect all of society against criminals that disrupt the peace of others.
Another type of law that we focused on was “Common Law”. Common law, also known as “Case Law”, is a basic system to ensure that cases with similar commonalities are treated fairly and consistently. For example, imagine that you are the victim of a reckless driver who side swipes your car, and the judge is now responsible for deciding whether the defendant is liable for the damages in question. The judge will listen to the statements in court and refer to common law in other cases to ensure that the party is fairly dismissed or prosecuted, depending on the verdict. The type of law that many people have heard of is statutory law, also known as written law.
Unlike Common Law, Statutory law is made by legislature and written down (hence the “aka” written law). Statutory Law is a concept in order to underscore the distinction between laws that a governing body makes and case law. If looking for an example of Statutory Law, you do not have to travel too far, or fast I should say; posted speed limits. This means that the speed limit is “formally” (and literally in this case) written and enacted.
Another law that was discussed last week was substantive law. “Substantive law is the statutory, or written law, that defines rights and duties, such as crimes and punishments, civil rights and responsibilities in civil law” (Melvin, 2011). This law defines and regulates individual’s rights. Some example substantive law is the law of contracts, torts as we talk about in the last lecture along with real property and the essential substance of rights under the law. Substantive law and procedural law are the two main categories with the law. Procedural law sets the rules and methods employed to obtain one’s rights and in particular how the courts are conducted. This law basically defines and creates rights limitations under which society us governed.
Melvin, S. P. (2011). The Legal Environment of Business. Retrieved from The University of
Phoenix eBook Collection database.