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English definition of “civil law”

civil law

noun [U]
 
 
LAW
the part of the legal system that deals with people's relationships, property, and business agreements, rather than with criminal activity: US shareholders are suing the company under civil law for deliberately misleading investors.
a legal system based on ancient Roman law, which is used in many countries. In this system a court makes decisions based on a set of recorded laws rather than on the decision of a judge or jury: Thailand's legal system is based on civil law, so the case may not be treated as a precedent by other bankruptcy judges. → Compare common law, criminal law, statute law
(Definition of civil law from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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