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Girolamo Tessuto » 2.The study of Law

The study of Law: divisions

Public law concerned with the protection of collective interests involving the state, and the legal relationships (duties/obligations) between the state and the individual.


  • Constitutional Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Tax law
  • Criminal Law
  • Public international law

Private law concerned with the protection of individual interests and governs disputes and legal relationships between individuals.
Reference to private law also as civil law.


  • Law of Contract
  • Law of Tort
  • Law of Property
  • Law of Succession
  • Family Law

The study of Law: divisions II

The study of Law: divisions III

  • Tax law (or Revenue law) regulates the compulsory contribution to the state’s funds.
  • Criminal Law (or penal law) deals with acts or omissions which are deemed to be public wrongs and are punishable by the state – ie, a crime is an event that is prohibited by law, one which can be followed by a prosecution in criminal proceedings and, thereafter, by punishment.
  • Substantive Law deals with rights, liabilities, and duties in all areas of law that are not matters purely of practice and procedure.
  • Procedural Law (or Adjective Law) defines the practice and procedure by which a law is to be enforced (eg, the way in which a right is enforced under civil law, or a crime prosecuted under the criminal law).
  • Municipal Law (or National Law) is the law operative within a local area (or state). One branch of that law is the law relating to Conflict of Laws, otherwise known as Private International Law, which determines which national law governs a case in which there is a foreign element.
  • International law (or jus gentium, law of nations) regulating the external relations of sovereign states, known as Public International Law. International law is also the body of rights and duties of citizens of different sovereign states between each other (Private International Law).

Civil Law versus Criminal Law

Civil Law versus Criminal Law II

Civil Law versus Criminal Law III

Civil Law versus Criminal Law IV

Civil Law versus Criminal Law V

Civil Law versus Criminal Law VI

The Stages in a Criminal Law action

I materiali di supporto della lezione

G. Tessuto, English for Law, A Focus on Legal Concepts and Language + CD, Giappichelli, Torino, 2009 (nuova edizione)

Chapter 1 (pp. 13-15)

Chapter 1 (pp. 15-18)

Introduction (pp. 1-10)

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