Address the business side of your legal activities with solutions to manage, track, and analyze business, finance, critical processes, relationships, and deliverables. Cases are legal decisions based on a specific set of facts involving parties who have a real interest in the controversy. The civil legal system dates back to the Roman Empire and its main feature is codification. Even compared to the common law, the doctrine of precedent does not apply in the civil courts. Historically, civil law encompasses legal ideas and systems derived from the Code of Justinian, but strongly superimposed by Napoleonic, Germanic, canonical, feudal, and local practices, as well as doctrinal currents such as natural law, codification, and juridical positivism. A system has been defined as a classification principle or procedure. Law was also defined as something by or in relation to the law; fall within the scope of the Act. Thus, from the above definition of “law” and “system”, a legal system can be defined as the principles or procedures for classifying laws, matters or procedures related to them. It can also be defined as a set of rules, including the associated principles, rules or doctrines that have the force of law in a particular society.

Most systems accept that criminal responsibility is not attributable to specific groups of people: very young children or people with serious mental illness. The systems also recognize a number of mitigating circumstances such as self-defence or provocation. In most jurisdictions, such as the United States, there is a fairly strict distinction between criminal law (for acts that constitute crimes against society as a whole) and civil law (usually for disputes between individuals or companies). The basic ethical standards for keeping promises and not harming others are reflected in the civil law of contracts and torts. In the United States, both states and the federal government have roles to play, and sometimes those roles overlap, as in environmental standards set by the states and the federal government. There are different ideas about what is right and what should be right. Laws and legal systems differ around the world. The legal system in the United States is based on the U.S. Constitution, which itself is inspired by natural law theory and the idea that people have rights that cannot be taken away by the government, but can only be protected by the government. The various functions of the law are done well or badly, depending on the nation-state you are looking at.

Some are very good at maintaining order, while others are better at allowing civil and political liberties. Social and political movements within each nation greatly influence the nature and quality of the legal system within that nation. Whatever their origin, most legal systems agree on certain fundamental premises. First, no one can be guilty of a crime if the offence has not been previously defined as such and if the sentence has not been pronounced through a legal procedure. This implies the need to clarify criminal law, prohibit its retroactive effect and certain notions of “fair trial” and the availability of a lawyer. Second, no one can be prosecuted twice for the same thing. Third, it is a crime to attempt a crime or conspire with others to commit one. Fourth, an alleged criminal must have a certain mindset to be convicted of the crime. Civil law is a comprehensive and codified set of legislative texts created by the legislature. A civilian system clearly defines the cases that can be brought before the courts, the procedures for dealing with claims and the punishment of a crime. The judicial authorities use the conditions of the applicable Civil Code to assess the facts of the case and take legislative decisions. Although civil law is regularly updated, the goal of standardized codes is to create order and reduce biased systems where laws are applied differently from case to case.

Conceptually, civil law is based on abstractions, formulates general principles and distinguishes between substantive and procedural rules. [3] It considers that case law is secondary and subordinate to written law. Civil law is often associated with the inquisitorial system, but the terms are not synonymous. Each of the different law schools has a particular conception of what a legal system is or what it should be. Natural law theorists emphasize the rights and duties of government and the governed. Positive law presupposes that law is only the command of a sovereign, the political power to which the governed will obey. Recent writings in the various schools of legal thought emphasize long-standing models of government by the rich over others (the CLS school) and by men over women (ecofeminist legal theory). In a nation, law can be used to (1) maintain peace, (2) maintain the status quo, (3) preserve individual rights, (4) protect minorities from majorities, (5) promote social justice, and (6) ensure orderly social change. Some jurisdictions serve these purposes better than others. While a nation ruled by an authoritarian government can keep the peace and maintain the status quo, it can also oppress minorities or political opponents (e.g., Burma, Zimbabwe, or Iraq under Saddam Hussein). Under colonialism, European nations often forced peace in countries whose borders were created somewhat arbitrarily by the same European nations.

For several centuries before the twentieth century, empires were built by Spain, Portugal, Great Britain, Holland, France, Germany, Belgium and Italy. In terms of the functions of law, the empire may have kept the peace—largely by force—but it changed the status quo and rarely promoted Indigenous rights or social justice within the colonized nation. However, codification is by no means a defining feature of a civil law system. For example, the laws governing the civil law systems of Sweden and other Nordic countries, as well as the Romano-Dutch lands, are not summarized in broader and more extensive codes such as those contained in French and German law. [19] As noted above, the focus is on two of these legal systems.