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CRIMINAL LAW: The sole aim of the criminal law system is to punish the accused, and not to directly compensate the victim of a crime. A criminal law case typically has two parties: the State as the plaintiff and the accused as the defendant. The victim is almost never the party to the case but merely just a witness. The district attorney or prosecutor, who is appointed by the state, decides whether to pursue the case against the accused which depends on the availability of evidence against the accused. If the State wins, the accused is punished through jail time, community service, probation, and/or the payment of fines.( Indian Penal Code (IPC) – Billingual The Indian Penal Code contains the period of sentence and or fine to be awarded to the guilty. For example Section 302 of Indian penal code provides for life imprisonment or death in cases of murder. Death penalty though is awarded now in “Rarest of Rare” case .For the State to win, it must prove that the accused is guilty “beyond reasonable doubt,” or that there is virtually no doubt that the accused has committed the crime. It is very difficult to prove a person’s guilt, thus the state pursues the case only when it has substantial evidence to prove the guilt of the accused or eye witness to prove the same. The state also has to consider circumstantial evidence provided. Thus if through it could be proved that the accused is guilty the state can prove its case. A victim has no ability to force a criminal trial of the accused if the district attorney and or a prosecutor are unwilling to pursue it. Thus if the state believe that there is no enough evidence against the accused the victim cannot compel the state to pursue the case. The Indian Penal Code also states that it is a crime to make unauthorized and harmful physical contact with another person (battery). In fact, it’s a crime even to threaten such contact (assault).Criminal law prohibits and punishes wrongful conduct, such as assault and battery, murder, robbery, extortion, and fraud. In criminal cases, the plaintiff the party filing the complaint is usually a government body acting as a representative of society. The defendant the party charged in the complaint may be an individual (such as your roommate, teacher, principal, etc.) or an organization (such as a business). Criminal punishment includes fines, imprisonment, or both.
CIVIL LAW: The sole aim of the civil law system is to benefit the victim, typically by requiring the guilty to pay money or restore the same position in which the victim was in prior to the damage caused. Naturally, guilty often feel punished by such judgments. A civil law case typically has two parties: the victim as plaintiff and the guilty as defendant. The victim decides whether to pursue the case and when to settle. In civil suits the state does not play any role unlike the criminal cases .To prevail in a civil law case, the victim typically needs to prove that the guilty is liable by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which is often understood to mean a 51% likelihood, or that it is slightly more believable the guilty committed the wrongful act. (Indian Civil Procedure Code (CPC) 1908) In civil suits it is much easier to prove the harm caused to the victim by the accused act unlike in criminal cases where the guilt of the accused has to established in Toto. Assault and battery may also be a matter of civil law—law governing disputes between private parties (again, individuals or organizations). In civil cases, the plaintiff sues the defendant to obtain compensation for some wrong that the defendant has allegedly done to the plaintiff. Also the plaintiff can ask for a relief in form of injunction on the defendant to not commit a certain act through which harm can be caused to him. Thus your roommate may be sued for monetary damages by the homeowner’s neighbour, with whom he made unauthorized and harmful physical contact. Also you may sue seeking an injunction against your employee when you feel that there is a possibility of him reviling your trade secrets to your competitors or against use of a particular trademark which belongs to you originally. A disadvantage in bringing a civil law suits is that the decision in such suit takes a lot of time to be delivered.
Many lawyers are in private practice, concentrating on criminal or civil law. In criminal law, lawyers represent individuals who have been charged with crimes and argue their cases in courts of law. In contrast, in civil law attorneys assist clients with litigation, wills, trusts, contracts, mortgages, titles, and leases. Both civil and criminal lawyers handle only public-interest case concentrating on particular causes and choosing cases that might have an impact on the way law is applied. Both types of lawyers are sometimes employed full time by a single client. If the client is a corporation, the lawyer is known as “house counsel” and usually advises the company concerning legal issues related to its business activities. These issues might involve patents, government regulations, contracts with other companies, property interests, or collective-bargaining agreements with union.
CONCLUSION: Thus we can conclude from the above stated that where the motive is Punishment of the guilty such law is criminal law and where the motive is compensation to the victim in form of monetary measures or any other form, such law is civil law. Criminal law will never work towards compensating the victim but to provide him/her the justice which is their right whereas on the other hand civil law will never look towards punishing the guilty but restoring the position of the victim by monetary or any other benefits.
Eg: Thus in a rape case a victim will not pray for compensation of Rs. 400000 whereas in a civil case where a person has been thrown out of his property will not claim a relief of punishment of 5 years of imprisonment of the culprit but restoration of his property in his own name.
Indian Penal Code (IPC) – Billingual Author : Ministry of Law & Justice, Govt. of India
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