Wednesday, 29 August 2012


The main differences between Civil Law and Criminal law are enumerated below:

Civil Law
Criminal Law
Civil law deals with the disputes between individuals, organizations, or between the two, in which compensation is awarded to the victim.
Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of statutory and common law that deals with crime and the legal punishment of criminal offenses.
Burden of proof:             
"Preponderance of evidence" Burden of proof is initially on the plaintiff and then switches to the defendants.
"Beyond a reasonable doubt": Burden of proof is always on the state/government.
Type of punishment:     
A defendant in civil litigation is never incarcerated and never executed. Losing defendant in civil litigation only reimburses the plaintiff for losses caused by the defendant’s behavior. Either party (plaintiff or defendant) can be found at fault.
A guilty defendant is punished by either incarceration in a jail or fine paid to the government, or, in exceptional cases, the death penalty. Defendant can be found guilty or not.
Case filed by:
Private party     
Either party may appeal a decision in a civil suit.    
Only the defendant may appeal a court ruling in a criminal case. The prosecution cannot appeal if the defendant is found not guilty.
Note: The distinction between civil and criminal law cannot always be maintained because some acts are considered both as crimes as well as civil wrongs.


  1. Thanks for giving information on the difference between civil and criminal law as many people consider both as same. But by reading this it is clearly understood that both are little bit different from each other.
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    1. Ms. Olson,

      You are right!
      They are different.

  2. In criminal law the standard of proof is that guilt must be shown beyond all reasonable doubt. While in civil law the burden of proof is that liability must be shown on the balance of probabilities.
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