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Civil Law System of India: An Overview

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Tushar Srivastava
Civil Law System of India: An Overview

India has a legal system that is a mix of both common law and civil law. While the common law system is prevalent in the UK, the US, and other commonwealth countries, the civil law system is followed in continental Europe and many other parts of the world. In India, the civil law system is mainly derived from the legal systems of France and Portugal, which had a strong influence on India during their colonial rule. In this article, we will take a closer look at the civil law system of India and its characteristics.

Origins of Civil Law in India

The origins of civil law in India can be traced back to the legal systems of France and Portugal. During their colonial rule in India, the French and the Portuguese introduced their legal systems, which were later adopted by the Indian government after independence. The civil law system in India is mainly based on the Code Napoleon, which was a civil code introduced in France in 1804.

Characteristics of the Civil Law System in India

The civil law system in India is based on a set of codified laws, which means that the laws are written down in the form of codes, statutes, and regulations. These laws are interpreted by judges, who are bound by the language of the law and are not allowed to make decisions based on their own opinions or beliefs. The civil law system in India is also characterized by the following:

Inquisitorial System

The civil law system in India is based on the inquisitorial system, which means that judges take an active role in investigating and gathering evidence in a case. Unlike the adversarial system, which is followed in common law countries, where the parties involved in a case are responsible for presenting evidence, in the inquisitorial system, the judge takes the initiative to gather evidence.

Precedents

Precedents are not binding in the civil law system in India. While judges can refer to past judgments for guidance, they are not bound by them. This means that there is no hierarchy of courts, and each court has the same authority to interpret the law.

Emphasis on Written Laws

In the civil law system, there is an emphasis on written laws, which means that laws are codified in written form. This allows for greater clarity and predictability in legal matters.

No Jury Trials

The civil law system in India does not have jury trials. Instead, cases are heard and decided by judges.

Key Differences Between Civil Law and Common Law Systems

While the civil law system in India is a mix of both common law and civil law, there are some key differences between the two systems. The following are some of the main differences:

Sources of Law

In the common law system, the law is based on judicial decisions, which are developed over time through the decisions of judges. In the civil law system, the law is based on written codes and statutes.

Role of Judges

In the common law system, judges have a greater degree of discretion in interpreting and applying the law. In the civil law system, judges are bound by the language of the law and are not allowed to make decisions based on their own opinions or beliefs.

Role of Civil Lawyers

Choosing the Best Civil Lawyer for your case can be deciding factor. In this time of increased demand for lawyers and a high number of existing lawyers, it becomes complex task to decide who is best. You should consider analysis of the experience and knowledge of the lawyer before hiring him or her.

Hierarchy of Courts

In the common law system, there is a hierarchy of courts, with higher courts having the authority to overrule lower courts. In the civil law system, there is no such hierarchy, and each court has the same authority to interpret the law.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the civil law system in India is based on a set of codified laws, which are interpreted by judges who take an

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Tushar Srivastava
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