PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LAW DEFINITION

PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LAW
PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LAW

PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LAW DEFINITION

Law generally can be classified into public and private law.

Public law is concerned with the protection of the state and its organs. It governs the relationship between the state and the citizens hence the name “PUBLIC LAW”. Examples of public law include Constitutional law, Administrative law, Criminal law, International law, inter alia. It also embraces a legal relationship where one of the parties, that is, the State, is ‘higher’ in legal status than the other that is the citizens. (public and private law)

Private law, on the other hand, is concerned with the relationship between individuals. It deals with the protection of individual rights. Private law includes Law of Contract, Torts, Family law, and Succession, Trust, Law of Evidence and so on. (public and private law)

In some countries, such as France, there is a separate body of laws, which governs the relations between private citizens and also a separate system of courts for determining matters of private nature. If the French government or any of its agencies is involved in an action, the government will be subject to different rules from the ones applicable to private individuals. The Nigerian Legal System has neither developed separate and autonomous body of rules and court systems for dealing with matters affecting the State. Litigation between the State and citizens are subject to the same principles and rules as litigation between private citizens. However, in recent years, a distinction of some sort has emerged in the Nigerian systems of law. (public and private law)

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It is based not on the difference between rules of law or court system, but on the procedure to be used where the purpose is to enforce a public duty or duties imposed on state agencies. Examples include the case of enforcement of fundamental human rights or application for judicial review of administrative actions or decisions of an inferior court. Unless the special procedures are followed, the case may be struck out. (public and private law)

In conclusion, public law is somehow related to private law, even though it differs in most countries.

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