Difference between family law and criminal law

Law can generally be categorized into two main types: criminal law and civil law. Civil law, in turn, can be divided into two categories: general civil law and family law.

General Civil Law: General civil law deals with disputes that arise between individuals or organizations. These disputes can encompass a wide range of issues such as contracts, wills, property disputes, personal injury claims, and more. For instance, a typical civil dispute might involve one person owing money to another.

Resources and starting points for understanding general civil law include:

  • Courts of BC: This website offers educational resources and instructional videos covering the justice system in British Columbia. It includes information about the Provincial Court, the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, and various administrative tribunals. The site details the organizational structure of each court and tribunal. Feel free to contact top 10 criminal lawyers in bangalore
  • Administrative Law falls under general civil law and involves disputes between individuals or organizations and government agencies, such as the Residential Tenancy Branch or the Labour Relations Board of BC. Administrative law cases often seek a review of government decisions through hearings conducted by boards or tribunals.

Helpful resources on administrative law include:

  • Administrative Law BC, accessible via the Justice Education Society of BC, explains administrative law and provides a directory of over 100 tribunals and agencies for further assistance.

Family Law: Family law addresses issues that arise when intimate relationships break down. It includes matters related to child care and support, as well as the division of property among separating spouses. Although technically part of civil law, family law has specific rules and court procedures tailored to family-related disputes.

Key resources for understanding family law include:

  • Introduction to Family Law from People’s Law School, which covers common issues, relevant laws, and legal terminology.
  • Introduction to the Legal System for Family Matters in JP Boyd on Family Law, offering insights into BC courts and the types of claims they handle.
  • The Family Law in BC website is provided by Legal Aid BC, offering comprehensive information ranging from basic fact sheets to self-help kits and court forms.

Criminal Law: Governs conduct that society has deemed harmful or threatening and is primarily codified in the Criminal Code of Canada. Criminal offenses, such as shoplifting, are prosecuted by the government (“the Crown”). The criminal law process differs significantly from civil law proceedings.

Resources for learning about criminal law include:

  • “Charging Someone with a Criminal Offence” from People’s Law School and “If You are Charged with a Crime” from Legal Aid BC offer fundamental insights into criminal law procedures.
  • “Defending Yourself Against a Criminal Charge” from People’s Law School provides legal guidance tailored to individuals representing themselves in criminal court.

These resources serve as starting points for understanding the respective areas of law and navigating legal issues within British Columbia.