The two law systems that form the basis of legal systems in most countries are:
Common Law System
- The basis of the legal system in the USA (except Louisiana and Puerto Rico).
- Originated from England during the thirteenth century when judges started recording the rulings they passed on various cases.
- Therefore, instead of the statutes passed by legislatures or the laws embodied in written constitution, the common law system depended on judicial decisions that were based on traditions, customs, and precedent.
- Common law system develop to adopt the adversarial approach for criminal cases. This is where both sides are represented by advocates and a judge hears the facts from both sides and passes judgment.
Civil Law System
- The civil law system forms the basis of the legal system of continental Europe, Quebec (Canada), Louisiana (USA), Japan, Latin America, and most former colonies of continental European countries.
- The civil law system itself was based on the Roman Law, especially as contained in the Corpus Juris Civilis of Emperor Justinian.
- Unlike common law system that was based on previous judicial decisions, the civil laws system derives from the broad legal principles and the interpretation of doctrinal writings.
- This type of law mostly deals with the rights of a private citizen to his property.
There are 3 major categories of laws (Characteristics) :
1. Criminal Laws
- The government of a country is responsible for maintaining peace and order among its people.
- To ensure this, the government creates laws, called criminal or penal laws, that help protect society. Violations of such laws are called criminal activities, and if a criminal is proven guilty, then the punishment can be probation or jail term.
- Sometimes a conviction can also result in the guilty paying a fine or restitution to the victim. Criminal conduct comes in two flavors – misdemeanor (a less serious crime) and a felony ( a more serious one).
- Criminal Laws addresses some computer-related crimes such as:
- unauthorized access; copyright violations; computer fraud or forgery; computer equipment piracy; sabotage through the use of malicious code; terrorism involving the use of computers; masquerading or impersonation using computers; and many more.
2. Civil or Tort Laws
- Mainly deals with private individuals and their rights and obligations under the laws.
- A conviction in a civil case only results in financial restitution which can be awarded as compensatory damages, punitive damages or statutory damages.
- Therefore, the main objective of civil laws is individual compensation.
3. Administrative or Regulatory Laws
- Mainly defines the standards of performance or conduct that should be followed by organizations and the employees.
- Violations of these laws can result in financial penalties or imprisonment.
Source by wikipedia
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