Monthly Archives: January 2010

25Jan/10

Commercial law

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Commercial law (sometimes known as business law) is the body of law that governs business and commercial transactions. It is often considered to be a branch of civil law and deals with issues of both private law and public law.

Commercial law includes within its compass such titles as principal and agent; carriage by land and sea; merchant shipping; guarantee; marine, fire, life, and accident insurance; bills of exchange and partnership. It can also be understood to regulate corporate contracts, hiring practices, and the manufacture and sales of consumer goods. Many countries have adopted civil codes that contain comprehensive statements of their commercial law. In the United States, commercial law is the province of both the United States Congress, under its power to regulate interstate commerce, and the states, under their police power. Efforts have been made to create a unified body of commercial law in the United States; the most successful of these attempts has resulted in the general adoption of the Uniform Commercial Code.

Various regulatory schemes control how commerce is conducted. Privacy laws, safety laws (e.g., the Occupational Safety and Health Act in the United States), and food and drug laws are some examples.

25Jan/10

Criminal law

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The term criminal law, sometimes called penal law, refers to any of various bodies of rules in different jurisdictions whose common characteristic is the potential for unique and often severe impositions as punishment for failure to comply. Criminal punishment, depending on the offense and jurisdiction, may include execution, loss of liberty, government supervision (parole or probation), or fines. There are some archetypal crimes, like murder, but the acts that are forbidden are not wholly consistent between different criminal codes, and even within a particular code lines may be blurred as civil infractions may give rise also to criminal consequences. Criminal law typically is enforced by the government, unlike the civil law, which may be enforced by private parties.

25Jan/10

Civil law (legal system)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law, the primary feature of which is that laws are written into a collection, codified, and not determined, as in common law, by judges.[1] Conceptually, it is the group of legal ideas and systems ultimately derived from the Code of Justinian, but heavily overlaid by Germanic, ecclesiastical, feudal, and local practices,[2] as well as doctrinal strains such as natural law, codification, and legislative positivism. Materially, civil law proceeds from abstractions, formulates general principles, and distinguishes substantive rules from procedural rules.[3] It holds legislation as the primary source of law, and the court system is usually inquisitorial, unbound by precedent, and composed of specially-trained judicial officers.

The principle of civil law is to provide all citizens with an accessible and written collection of the laws which apply to them and which judges must follow. It is the most prevalent and oldest surviving legal system in the world. Colonial expansion spread the civil law system and European civil law has been adopted in much of Latin America as well as in parts of Asia and Africa.[4] The primary source of law is the legal code, which is a compendium of statutes, arranged by subject matter in some pre-specified order[5]; a code may also be described as “a systematic collection of interrelated articles written in a terse, staccato style.” [6] Law codes are usually created by a legislature’s enactment of a new statute that embodies all the old statutes relating to the subject and including changes necessitated by court decisions. In some cases, the change results in a new statutory concept. The two other major legal systems in the world are common law and Islamic law.

A prominent example of civil law would be the Napoleonic Code (1804), named after French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. The Code comprises three components: the law of persons, property law, and commercial law. Rather than a catalog of judicial decisions, the Code consists of abstractly written principles as rules of law. [6]

Civil law is sometimes referred to as neo-Roman law, Romano-Germanic law or Continental law. The expression civil law is a translation of Latin jus civile, or “citizens’ law”, which was the Late Imperial term for its legal system, as opposed to the laws governing conquered peoples (jus gentium).