civil law

noun, often capitalized C&L

Definition of civil law 

1 : Roman law especially as set forth in the Justinian code

2 : the body of private law developed from Roman law and used in Louisiana and in many countries outside the English-speaking world

3 : the law established by a nation or state for its own jurisdiction

4 : the law of civil or private rights

Examples of civil law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Criminal law and civil law feature different burdens of proof. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Could Gareon Conley Legally Prove That Rape Allegation Caused Draft Slide, Financial Harm?," 12 July 2018 The ruling will have ripple effects beyond the civil law courts, where Jameson filed his case. Greg Moran, sandiegouniontribune.com, "State high court strikes down rule requiring poor to pay for own court reporter in civil courts," 6 July 2018 The United States is a country based on civil law with the principle of separation of church and state found in our Constitution. Said Ahmed-zaid, idahostatesman, "Legislature’s anti-sharia law bill is unnecessary and discriminatory | Idaho Statesman," 9 Feb. 2018 According to the ancient Salian Frankish civil law code from around 500 A.D, Prince Michael's only daughter is excluded from the line of succession. Deutsche Welle, USA TODAY, "German Prince Georg-Constantin dies in riding accident in Britain," 14 June 2018 Lavery spent 16 years in civil law private practice, specializing in personal injury insurance defense, pharmaceutical litigation and product liability. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "Here's who a Louisville judicial group wants as next Jefferson Circuit Court judge," 23 Apr. 2018 Guerrero had the right to a supreme court appeal because CAS is under the jurisdiction of Swiss civil law. Graham Dunbar, chicagotribune.com, "Swiss tribunal clears Peru captain Guerrero to play World Cup," 31 May 2018 The United States is the only country that offers citizens a constitutional right to a jury trial across the sweep of civil law. Edward D. Mccarthy, BostonGlobe.com, "The case of the vanishing trial lawyer, and why it matters to all of us," 8 May 2018 As a small and independent civil law enforcement agency, the FTC encourages our partners to help spread our message to consumers. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "Melania Trump's "Be Best" Pamphlet Essentially Copied One Released During the Obama Administration," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'civil law.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of civil law

circa 1500, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of civil law was circa 1500

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More Definitions for civil law

civil law

noun

English Language Learners Definition of civil law

: laws that deal with the rights of people rather than with crimes

civil law

noun, often capitalized C&L

Legal Definition of civil law 

1 : Roman law especially as set forth in the Code of Justinian

2 : the body of law developed from Roman law and used in Louisiana, in continental Europe, and in many other countries outside of the English-speaking world including especially those that were colonized by countries of continental Europe — compare common law

Note: Although Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. whose law is based entirely on civil law, remnants of civil law remain in other states (as Texas and California) in which countries of continental Europe had a strong influence.

3 : the law established by a nation or state for its own jurisdiction

4 : the law that applies to private rights especially as opposed to the law that applies to criminal matters — compare criminal law

More from Merriam-Webster on civil law

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with civil law

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about civil law

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