Differences Between Civil Law and Old Testament Law
Laws are that which govern the conduct of individuals, institutions, organizations, and society at large. A law is a body of rules developed and enforced by governmental or social organizations to socially regulate behaviour, with its exact definition having been a matter of long standing debate. In the United States a law is usually defined as a rule that either makes a penalty against an individual or institution or that authorizes the enforcement of a rule by a particular agency. It may also be interpreted as a rule or norm and used as the basis for policy decisions, but the ultimate authority is vested in the courts.
A range of legislation fall under the ambit of criminal law. Criminal law covers a number of offenses that are punishable by both civil and criminal punishment. Civil law is that which governs disputes between private parties, and criminal law is that which governs disputes between government and private parties. A wide range of governmental enactments fall under the category of public law, while private law is that which governs private individuals and institutions. The courts, created by and for the people, are the supreme lawmaking body.
A number of legislations govern the administration of criminal justice in the United States. The legislative enactments commonly referred to as penal law are the Federal Penalties Act, the Federal Drug Administration, the Internal Revenue Code, the Victims of Crime Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Fair Trading Act. These legislations have been developed to punish individuals and institutions for criminal acts. The authorities who administer the law often delegate some of their regulatory authority to other jurisdictions such as the circuit courts. The powers of the federal executive over these bodies are largely circumscribed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Civil laws regulate private individuals and associations as well. They cover subjects such as trusts, wills, property, professional liability, corporate law, and real property law. These areas of the body of civil law are referred to collectively as civil law. A number of other types of legislation exist to govern various aspects of family life including immigration, divorce, child custody and protection, and family related issues such as paternity and maternity rights.
Many jurisdictions share common law Jurisprudence. This means that many of these jurisdictions’ customary law are shared by other jurisdictions within the same country. There are also common law jurisdictions that retain the original traditions of the common law and incorporate them into civil law. Common law jurisdictions include; pre-civil war America, England and Ireland, Canada, and Australia.
In contrast, civil law systems typically develop from a body of statutes enacted by the legislature and administrative authority. A large part of this development is concerned with interpreting constitutional decisions. This is necessary because the operation of the legislature and administrative bodies is contingent on the decisions it takes. A large part of interpreting constitutional decisions is determining the meaning of words that appear in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and other important case law. The decisions of the legislature and administrative bodies of government are also subject to common law challenges.