Civil Law

Civil Law

Frequently, a person is advised by the police that their problem is not a police matter, rather it is a civil matter between the persons concerned. So, what is civil law?

Fundamentally, civil law protects the private rights of citizens, attempts to resolve disputes and offers remedies.

Civil law is a combination of the common law- originating from the legal system of the United Kingdom and the British Empire- and legislation.

In civil law matters the police are not involved. Such matters usually arise between citizens, businesses and government entities.

Civil law involves the law of torts, which effectively means a party has suffered a loss or harm at the hands of a second party who has a duty of care towards the party suffering the loss or harm. In such instances the person or entity suffering the loss or harm can seek damages against the party that caused the harm. Hence, a tort is a civil wrong between individuals/businesses, or individuals/businesses and the state.

Examples of such wrongs include negligence, trespass, contracts, debt recovery, property related matters ( neighbour disputes), defamation, family law, detinue (action to recover goods unlawfully held by another despite the owner making a demand for return of the goods) and conversion (someone intentionally interfering with your property).

The standard of proof in civil law is on the balance of probabilities.

Whereas legal aid is available in criminal matters, unfortunately, such aid rarely extends to civil law matters.

Contact Brian Phillips Law for more information and advice.