Civil and criminal law - Essay Example

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Law is one of the most complicated subjects with a massive literature behind it. There are several nuances with respect to Law which makes it difficult at times to understand certain differences between various nuances. For example, understanding the differences between civil law and criminal law can be a bit overwhelming but it is still important for anyone to have at the minimum basic understanding about both…
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Civil and criminal law
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Download file to see previous pages To gain a better insight, these questions can be looked at from two angles as proposed by Ronald Standler: Punishment and Burden of Proof (Standler, 1998).
Punishment: In criminal law, a guilty defendant is punished in one of the two ways: either incarceration in a jail or prison or fine paid to the government; or, in exceptional cases: execution of the defendant: the death penalty. On the other hand, a defendant in civil litigation is never incarcerated nor executed. Most often, a losing defendant in civil litigation only reimburses the plaintiff for losses caused by the defendant's behavior.
Burden of Proof: With certain exceptions, in most cases, in criminal litigation, the burden of proof is always on the state. The case starts with the defendant assumed to be innocent and as the case proceeds, the state must prove that the defendant is guilty. In contrast, in civil litigation, the burden of proof is initially on the plaintiff. It should be noted that, there may be several situations in which the burden shifts to the defendant.
With the above discussion in mind, it can be noticed that, in a criminal law case the litigation is filed by the government called the prosecution against the defendant whereas in a civil law case a private party files a lawsuit ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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