Friday, October 13, 2006

Types and sources of law

Two types of law
1. Criminal law - enforces a code of conduct (normally to protect). Allows the state to take punitive action against those who commit breaches.
2. Civil law - enables an individual who has suffered harm to gain appropriate recompense or to seek an injunction to prevent harm (or further harm) from occurring.

Two sources of law - both define codes against which behaviour can be judged.
1. Common law is not written down but is developed by the courts over time.
2. Statute law is written down (codified) in the form of Acts and Regulations. Failure to comply with statute law normally (but not always) constitutes a criminal offence but can also be used in civil actions unless specifically disallowed.

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