civil law

civil laws

Civil law is the legal branch that covers private rights, rather than crimes. If your neighbor decides to sue you because your dog barks constantly, that's a matter of civil law

In many of the world's legal systems, civil law refers to non-criminal law. Civil has a Latin root, civilis, which means "relating to a society." This system of law has to do with interactions between members of a community, and it covers divorce, property rights, contracts, and other conflicts between people. Most civil cases are tried in state courts, and if someone is convicted under civil law, they usually have to pay a fine.

Definitions of civil law
  1. noun
    the legal code of ancient Rome; codified under Justinian; the basis for many modern systems of civil law
    synonyms: Justinian code, Roman law, jus civile
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    type of:
    legal code
    a code of laws adopted by a state or nation
  2. noun
    the body of laws established by a state or nation for its own regulation
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    international law, law of nations
    the body of laws governing relations between nations
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    case law, common law, precedent
    (civil law) a law established by following earlier judicial decisions
    legislation, statute law
    law enacted by a legislative body
    enabling legislation
    legislation that gives appropriate officials the authority to implement or enforce the law
    federal job safety law, occupational safety and health act
    a law passed by the United States Congress that created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to prevent employees from being injured or contracting diseases in the course of their employment
    type of:
    jurisprudence, law
    the collection of rules imposed by authority
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘civil law'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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