What is a civil case? How Do you serve jail time if found liable?

The UK judicial system is full of complex legal jargon, from prima facie to ombudsman, furniture to actus reus, the courts can be a confusing place.

There are three different legal systems in the UK; one each for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

These reflect historical origins dating back hundreds of years, grown organically and unique to each nation.

Both Scotland and Ireland, and later Northern Ireland, retain their own legal systems and traditions under the Acts of Union 1707 and 1800.

Despite these differences, the UK judicial system is one of the three common branches of government. The other two are the executive or government and the legislature, i.e. the two chambers of parliament.

Britain does not have a written constitution, but relies on various laws passed by parliament and common law that have evolved over centuries.

This includes types of cases, including criminal and civil cases.

What is a civil process?

Unlike a criminal case where charges are brought by the government, civil cases are brought by private parties.

While criminal cases are decided with a guilty verdict or an acquittal, civil cases are designated as liable or not liable.

According to the Courts and Courts of Justice, the jurisdiction covers everything from small or simple claims, such as damaged goods or debt recovery, to large cases between multinational companies.

These are public hearings that the public can attend. In the vast majority of civil proceedings, the verdict is decided by a judge and without the participation of a jury.

The main exception is libel and defamation proceedings.

How do civil matters work in the US?

As in the UK, a person may not be found guilty in civil proceedings, but may be found “liable” in US civil proceedings.

Unlike in criminal cases, in which a jury in civil proceedings in the USA has to determine the guilt of a person “beyond any doubt”, the burden of proof lies in the “predominance of the evidence”, ie the jury assumes that there is more than 50% probability that the Claim is true based on the evidence they’ve heard.

Are you serving a prison sentence in civil proceedings?

In the UK, no one is jailed in civil proceedings.

A famous example of a civil lawsuit can be seen in the United States. After she was acquitted in 1995 of the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her boyfriend Ronald Goldman, the Goldman family started a civil case against OJ Simpson.

In 1997 a jury found Simpson unanimously responsible for the deaths of Goldman and Brown.

However, he was not serving a prison term.


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