Civil law is defined as that branch focused on regulating the civil status of properties, real rights, successions, obligations and contracts and, in general, of people. Furthermore, it is private in nature and defines the relationships between spouses, ascendants and descendants. This is why, when a related legal dispute arises, you need to seek the services of a family law attorney.
Obviously, civil law is much more complex than what we have commented previously and what we could write in this whole article. However, using the precepts that appear in the Royal Decree of July 24, 1889, of the Civil Code, we are going to explain its fundamental concepts.
The four branches of Civil Law
Civil law is, in itself, a branch of law in general. But, in turn, it is divided into four main parts:
- The general or subjective right part: in this section we find everything related to the nationality of residents
- , their domicile, the extinction of civilian personality and the acquisition of property.
- Contracts and obligations : here the rules of the general and special legal regime that affect the drafting of contracts and the acquisition of obligations are determined. In addition, reference is also made to contractual and non-contractual responsibilities.
- Law Family and Inheritance : This section relationships and children and ancestors are regulated between spouses, parents and inheritance and how to marry and to establish other civil unions.
- The real right : at this point we talk about property and the possession of property. In fact, here we must pay special attention to what is known as mortgage law. The fundamental precepts of guarantees and preferential acquisitions are also established.
Why is civil law private in nature?
Earlier we alluded to this concept. Specifically, civil law has a private nature to regulate the relations that take place between civilians and individuals without there being an intervention as such by the State acting as a person under public law. This covers the following:
- Right of people : civil law is responsible for regulating both the beginning and the end of life of individuals. But, in addition, it does the same with respect to the attributes of the personality, which are the aspects that mark its legal relationship with other people. We are talking, for example, about nationality, domicile or marital status.
- Duty on properties and assets : This is sometimes called, usually as a real right. Its objective is to define the legal relationships established between people and their things, perfectly defining the different modes of possession and acquisition.
- Law family : not only talk about marriage and other forms of civil union, but also of the consequences and legal responsibilities arising from family relationships. All this, in addition, must be compatible with the different doctrines established by other branches of law around this issue.
- Right of succession or inheritance : undoubtedly one of the most important aspects covered by civil law. It is in charge of regulating the distribution of the assets of a subject when he dies and of the rights that third parties have over them. This is undoubtedly one of the most common reasons for consulting any family law attorney.
- Law liability : when a person physical or legal causes damage to another, you must compensate for the damages caused. Here the how is regulated.
- Law of contracts and obligations : here the consequences and binding effects of the agreement of acts, facts and legal deals are established by signing documents.
- Common law : civil law establishes a series of guidelines for the interpretation and application of legal norms belonging to other branches of law.
- Private international law : applicable when there is a legal conflict in civil matters between different countries.
Other basic aspects of civil law
We have already commented before that civil law is, at the same time, private law, common law and general law. Next, we want to delve a little deeper into the subject to define these concepts more precisely.
Why is civil law called private law?
To discern this question we must go back to the time of the Roman Empire . And it was at that time when the set of rules establishing private law were established, which is responsible for governing the relationships between natural and legal persons. This was frontally opposed to public law, which has the function of defining the relations of people between the powers of the state and of these among themselves.
However, with the passage of time, and taking into account the political and legal evolution of societies, public law has practically fallen into disuse, with civil law being responsible for regulating almost all areas of public and private life. In fact, specialized jurists define civil law as the person responsible for judging acts pertaining, on the one hand, to private social life and, on the other, to private private life.
Why is civil law called common law?
This is a simpler question to solve. And, when there is no special regulation or specific legislation on a subject that can be defined within private law, what is established in civil law is what should be applied. This made that, over the years, in most European countries, including independent branches were established in commercial and labor matters, for example. In both cases, there is a specific regulation that is based on civil law.
This is the main reason why civil law is also called as common law. Furthermore, this characteristic ensures that various civil mechanisms can cohabit in the same territory. We only have to think about the case Within our country there is a common regulation in this regard, but within it, exclusive regulations are established at the local, provincial, autonomous and provincial levels.
Why is civil law called general law?
This is usually done when looking at civil law from a subjective perspective, that is, of application to people. Specifically, the name of general law is established by harboring private legal norms that are applicable to all individuals born or residing in a country. We are talking, for example, about religion, work or nationality.
In short, civil law can be considered as the broadest and most widely applied branch of law in general, mainly due to its private nature and its predisposition to regulate relations between people.