Introduction - Criminal and Civil Law

Welcome to AS Law.


The Course has two exams at the end of the year and is taught presuming you have no prior knowledge of the subject. 


All notes activities and access to the online quizzes and tests can be accessed through this new website. It has been built to provide a one stop shop for all resources and can be accessed on most devices including smart phones, tablets and PC's.


Please watch the introductory video lecture and read through the powerpoint below:

Video Lecture



NOTES:Introduction to Law Notes Introduction to Law Notes   Introduction to Law Introduction to Law 



TASKComplete the attached worksheets using your own knowledge, this and other websites and the links in the documents   People in the Law Task People in the Law Task Key terms in Law task Key terms in Law task Introduction to Law Research task Introduction to Law Research task


Law is defined as a set of conduct rules established by an authority, custom or agreement.


In all types of law there at least two parties to a dispute which will ultimately be decided by a court. 

There are many specialist areas of law:

  • Tax law
  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Family
  • Shipping
  • Medical


Most of these can be placed in a few basic categories which all students studying law should be aware of. They are:


 Is defined as rules created to govern an individual rights and responsibilities.

In Civil Law the person starting the case is called the Claimant and the oppossing person is called the Defendant.

In Civil Law it is the Claimant that has to prove the Defendant breach his legal rights (called the burden of proof) and the Claimant must do this on a balance of probabilities (called the standanrd of proof)  by submitting evidence to the court, eg witnesses and documents. Balance of probability means the judge must on balance believe the Claimants legal rights have been infringed by the Defendant from the evidence.

There are 2 main types of civil law:


i)          CONTRACT

This is the law that enforces agreements that parties make with each other. It will not enforce all agreements, only those that satisfy the following tests:

  • One party (offeror) makes an offer and the other party (offeree) must know about it]
  • The offeree must accept and let the offeror know this
  • There must be consideration (the 2 parties must exchange something)
  • There must be an intention that the agreement is legally binding
  • Both parties must be over 18
  • The agreement must not do anything illegal.


ii)         TORT

This is the law that provides a remedy to someone who does not have a contract with the party that has wronged them. It is known as a civil wrong.The main types are:

a) Negligence – You can be liable in this tort if you cause harm to someone by your carelessness. The harm can be physical. Psychological or financial


b) Nuisance – This is the law that protects a person’s enjoyment of their property

e.g. Hunter v Canary Wharf Ltd



c) Defamation – This is the law that protect people from untrue statements which if believed, may cause people to think less of them.

There are 2 types of defamation slander and libel. Slander is spoken defamation and libel is when the defamation is published or distributed in some way.


 d) Trespass  - There are 2 types of civil trespass:


Trespass to land: occurs where a person directly enters upon another's land without permission, or remains upon the land, or places or projects any object upon the land.

Trespass to the person:means a direct or an intentional interference with a person's body or liberty.



Whichever party wins the court case (either the Claimant or the Defendant) will receive damages which can be financial compensation or a court order for the losing party to do something to enforce the other parties legal rights, Injunction tells the losing party not to do something or a mandatory order tells the losing party to do something. For example, in contract law the winning party will normally want financial compensation for the contract being broken.



In a civilised society some acts are considered so serious that they are said not just to be committed against the victim but against the State.


For instance if you hit someone they may sue you for trespass. You have also committed a criminal offence against the person for which you may be sent to prison. If they die you have committed the offence of Murder or Manslaughter.


In Criminal Law it is the state (represented by the Queen as head of state) that prosecutes the person for the crime, called the Defendant.


In Criminal Law the burden of proof is on the Prosecution who must prove beyond reasonable doubt (the standard of proof) that the D is guilty of the offence by submitting evidence to the court, e.g. witnesses and documents. Beyond reasonable doubt means the jury or Magistrates must be sure from the evidence the Defendant committed the crime. If they have a doubt the Defendant must be found not guilty.

Task: Watch the video below about doctors who were allowing abortions to take place simply to the sex of the baby. Then complete the activities on the The Abortion Act Activity The Abortion Act Activity.








TASK:  Complete the attached worksheet using your knowledge of the differences between Criminal and Civil law. Law scenarios activity Law scenarios activity



:  This is a formal quiz online for which you need your username and password. If you don’t have this please ask your tutor.

You only get one chance to complete this quiz the results of which will go towards your progress grade. The quiz allows you a maximum of 25 minutes to complete it after which you will not be able to access it again.

Please make sure you have revised thoroughly for the quiz and good luck. The quiz is called: Civil and Criminal Law.

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