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J. Davy Yockey, Esquire - Personal Injury Lawyer

Injury Law Terms:

Civil Law:

A branch of law governing disputes between individuals and/or corporations, in which compensation may be awarded to one or more parties. For the purpose of civil law, corporations take on the legal status of individuals.


Civil law is distinct from criminal law, and a civil action may not necessarily preclude a criminal action.

What is the Civil Law?

Civil law systems, also called continental or Romano-Germanic legal systems, are found on all continents and cover about 60% of the world. They are based on concepts, categories, and rules derived from Roman law, with some influence of canon law, sometimes largely supplemented or modified by local custom or culture. The civil law tradition, though secularized over the centuries and placing more focus on individual freedom, promotes cooperation between human beings.


In their technical, narrow sense, the words civil law describe the law that pertains to persons, things, and relationships that develop among them, excluding not only criminal law but also commercial law, labor law, etc. Codification took place in most civil law countries, with the French Code civil and the German BGB being the most influential civil codes.

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