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Criminal and Civil Liability

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1 Criminal and Civil Liability
“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” Plato Introduction to Law Criminal and Civil Liability

2 What is Law? The collection of rules imposed by authority.
The principles and regulations established in a community by some authority and applicable to its people, recognized and enforced by judicial decision. Law is a system of rules a society sets to maintain order.

3 Why do we have criminal law?
Think about what would happen if we didn’t!

4 Criminal Law Criminal cases are investigated by the police.
The Crown Prosecution Service – CPS presents the case in court. The main criminal courts are the Magistrates and Crown Courts.

5 Criminal Law Criminal cases are usually written like this:
R v (Defendant’s surname) E.g. R v Smith R stands for Regina/Rex – the queen/king The case is brought on behalf of the state. The parties are known as the prosecution and the defendant.

6 Criminal Law In criminal law, a person is prosecuted.
They may admit their crime straight away and plead guilty. They will then be convicted and sentenced. If they plead not guilty, there will be a trial. They can be found guilty or not guilty.

7 Criminal Law In criminal law, the prosecution has the burden of proof.
This means that it is up to the prosecution to prove that the defendant is guilty. The defendant does not have to prove that they are innocent. The prosecution must prove guilt to a high standard. The standard of proof is ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.

8 Criminal Law A defendant who is found not guilty is free to go.
A defendant who pleads guilty or is found guilty after a trial will be sentenced. What type of sentences can you think of?

9 Civil Law There are many different types of civil law.
These include tort, contract, family and employment law. Examples: A passenger is injured in a car accident A man has failed to pay his mortgage A woman is injured by faulty machinery at work A newspaper has written an untrue article about a celebrity A customer has bought faulty goods from a shop

10 Negligence Negligence is a ‘tort’ – this is a french word which means ‘civil wrong’. A person is negligent in law if he acts carelessly towards someone, causing damage to that person or their property.

11 Negligence Examples of negligence would include:
Accidents at work caused by bad supervision. Careless advice from a bank manager causing someone to lose money. Even something ordinary, such as a person not looking where he was going, bumping into something and causing damage.

12 Civil Process In a civil case, the Claimant must bring a case against the Defendant(s). Civil cases are mainly dealt with in the County Court and High Court. The case name is made up of the surnames of both parties: Smith (Claimant) v Jones (Defendant)

13 Civil Process It is up to the claimant to prove their case – they have the burden of proof. They must prove their case on the ‘balance of probabilities’ – this means that they must show that it is more likely than not that they are right – e.g. 51%. This is the standard of proof.

14 Civil Process If the claimant does not prove their case on the balance of probabilities – i.e. show that they are probably right, they lose. If the case is not proven, the defendant is not liable. If the claimant can prove that they are probably right, they win and the defendant is liable. They may then have to pay damages to the claimant.

15 Damages? Damages are a sum of money awarded in compensation.
Those injured by the actions of others may find that they are entitled to damages. How much?

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