What is Civil Law? Brief Guide

Civil law is a system that helps people settle disagreements between each other peacefully, instead of fighting or arguing.

It’s like a set of rules that everyone follows when they have a problem and want to solve it fairly. For example, if two people are arguing about who should keep a toy, civil law can help them figure out a fair solution.

It’s like having a grown-up referee who listens to both sides and helps them come to an agreement. Civil law is important because it helps us live together peacefully and treat each other fairly.

How does civil law work?

Civil law works by providing a way for people to solve their problems without fighting. When two people have a disagreement, they can use civil law to ask for help in finding a fair solution. Here’s how it works:

Identify the problem:

The first step is to figure out the problem. It could be about money, property, or even a disagreement between neighbors.

Talk to each other:

The next step is for the people involved to talk to each other and try to work things out on their own. They can discuss their concerns, listen to each other, and try to find a compromise.

Seek help from a mediator:

If they can’t solve the problem by talking, they can ask for help from a neutral person called a mediator. The mediator listens to both sides and helps them find common ground and reach an agreement.

The mediator is like a fair person who doesn’t pick sides but helps everyone find a fair solution.

File a lawsuit:

If the people involved still can’t come to an agreement, they can go to court and file a lawsuit. This means that a judge will listen to both sides and make a decision about what should happen.

The judge will carefully consider the facts and evidence presented by both parties to make a fair judgment.

Follow the court’s decision:

Once the judge makes a decision, both parties must follow it. This means doing what the judge says and taking the steps necessary to resolve the problem.

If someone doesn’t follow the court’s decision, there may be consequences like fines or other legal actions.

Civil law helps people by giving them a fair and peaceful way to resolve their problems. It encourages communication, compromise, and treating each other with respect. By using civil law, we can live together in harmony and solve our disagreements in a civilized manner.

Difference between common law and civil law:

Civil law:

  • Civil law is a legal system that is based on a set of written laws, rules, and codes. These laws are created and written down by lawmakers or government officials.
  • In civil law, judges typically have a more passive role and focus on interpreting and applying the laws to individual cases.
  • It is used in many countries around the world, including many European countries.

Common law:

  • Common law is a legal system that is based on previous court decisions, known as precedents, instead of written laws.
  • In common law, judges play a more active role and have the power to interpret the law and make new legal principles based on their decisions.
  • Common law is used in countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia.

The main difference between civil law and common law is that civil law relies on written laws and codes, while common law relies on previous court decisions.

It’s like civil law uses a recipe book to follow rules, and common law is like a collection of stories that judges learn from and use to make new decisions.

Pros and cons of civil law:



Civil law helps in resolving conflicts and ensures fairness for all people involved.


The rules and regulations in civil law are usually clear and easy to understand.


Civil law aims to protect people’s rights and property.


Civil law allows people who have been harmed to seek compensation for their losses.



Civil law cases can sometimes take a long time to resolve, which can be frustrating.


Going through the civil law process can be costly with fees for lawyers and court proceedings.

Limited punishment:

Civil law often focuses on compensating the victim rather than punishing the wrongdoer.


Understanding the legal procedures and paperwork required in civil law cases can be overwhelming for people not familiar with the legal system.

Check Also: What is Common Law? Brief Guide


Q: What types of cases does civil law cover?

Civil law covers many different types of cases such as contracts, property disputes, and personal injuries.

Q: How long does a civil law case take?

The time it takes for a civil law case to be resolved can vary. Some cases are settled quickly, while others can take months or even years.

Q: Can I appeal a decision in civil law?

Yes, if you are not satisfied with the outcome of your civil law case, you can often appeal the decision and ask a higher court to review it.

Q: How do I find a resolution in civil law without going to court?

Sometimes, people try to resolve civil law issues outside of court through negotiation, mediation, or arbitration.

Q: Is civil law the same in every country?

No, civil law can vary from country to country. Each country has its laws and legal system, although some principles may be similar.


Civil law is an important system that helps resolve disputes and protect people’s rights. It focuses on fairness, clarity, and compensation for those who have been harmed.

While civil law cases can take time and money, they provide a way for individuals to seek justice and find resolution.

It’s important to understand that civil law is different from criminal law, as it focuses on resolving conflicts between people rather than punishing wrongdoing.

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