Definition of civil law in English:

civil law


mass noun
  • 1The system of law concerned with private relations between members of a community rather than criminal, military, or religious affairs.

    ‘the owners can prosecute the individuals under civil law for trespassing’
    Contrasted with criminal law
    • ‘Of course, there is always the sanction of prosecutions or civil suits, and those must always remain the primary sanction for any breach of the criminal or civil law.’
    • ‘The first four prove that the Commandments are religious rules, not civil law.’
    • ‘This is a public health, criminal, and civil law crisis of staggering proportions that few, if any, have fully comprehended.’
    • ‘The civil law is based on religious law in many of its parts.’
    • ‘I did a fair amount of criminal law and civil law, but generally it was conveyancing.’
    • ‘The virtue of justice, in matters of criminal and civil law, falls upon the state to administer.’
    • ‘But it would be unsafe to state the rule by reference to a distinction between matters of civil law and criminal law, because offences are often defined in such a way as to blur the two.’
    • ‘The paper also says that the new draft decrees that family law on the likes of divorce and marriage would be ‘decided either by religious law or civil law as an individual chooses’.’
    • ‘The point being that they were used to a civil law system rather than that they were inappropriate to sit on a jury.’
    • ‘Most notably, civil law directly regulates relationships to the extent that it recognizes and distinguishes among different types of relationships.’
    • ‘However, it is possible that the efficiency of the criminal and civil law relating to fraud could be increased by the development of rules applying specifically to fraud in companies.’
    • ‘Because you'll have the government trying to say it's about military law and not civil law.’
    • ‘What's the difference between civil law and criminal law?’
    • ‘The law regulates sexuality through three major legal paradigms: criminal law, civil law, and child welfare law.’
    • ‘But over the centuries, the U.S. judicial system has amply demonstrated its ability to adapt to new, complex problems in criminal and civil law.’
    • ‘The Act therefore melds the criminal law and civil law very closely together and appears to provide a choice of remedies to meet the needs and preferences of victims.’
    • ‘Do you need a recess to freshen up on the finer points of civil law, Counselor?’
    • ‘Punishment is a function par excellence of the criminal law, rather than civil law.’
    • ‘The law generally does so through two sets of laws: criminal and civil law.’
    • ‘In other words, there is no distinction between the privilege arising in the context of civil law, criminal law, or any other area of law.’
  • 2The system of law predominant on the European continent, historically influenced by that of ancient Rome.

    Compare with common law
    • ‘Germany and France share a common civil law outlook and geographical position at the heart of Europe.’
    • ‘As an international code, civil law offered a better means to have other European powers recognize or at least understand English claims to sovereignty.’
    • ‘The government is based on the French Napoleonic civil law system and traditional law.’
    • ‘The legal system is based on English common law, with some civil law influence.’
    • ‘Our system is much more flexible as it is civil law rather than common law.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, in Quebec, French Canadians were determined to preserve their religion, language, civil law and culture.’
    • ‘Perhaps it is why most of the civil law systems of Europe forbid dissent.’
    • ‘Consequently, compared to common law countries, civil law countries have weak judiciaries - and long statute books.’
    • ‘English law was undoubtedly influenced by civil law, though it never ‘received’ or adopted Roman law.’
    • ‘His classifications formed the basis of civil law systems in Europe up to the time of the French and German codes.’
    • ‘Under the continental civil law, interpretation of the law by judges is not a major factor and the rule of precedent is not an important element.’
    • ‘Also in many countries of continental Europe and most other civil law countries the law draws a distinction between private law proceedings and criminal proceedings.’
    • ‘Common law and civil law systems recognize the principle of compensation for losses caused by faults for which others are legally responsible.’
    • ‘There's lots of civil law information contained within common law information, if you look carefully, though it is often exported abroad in decanted, common law form.’
    • ‘Yet the historical influence of the civil law in the world has been unmistakable, and much of the emulation has taken place out of simple admiration, notably that which took place in the common law world.’
    • ‘And many civil law jurisdictions - Quebec is one example - allow such actions.’
    • ‘By contrast, almost all other systems of law, both common law and civil law, have a diversity of security types, each governed by its own rules as to creation, enforceability, and priorities.’


civil law