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Friday, October 26, 2012

Distinction between crime and tort.

Crime and Tort both are wrongful act. but two have many distinction.some main distinction given by 
Peter Suber

Crimes v. Torts

This table summarizes some of the basic differences between crimes and torts, or between criminal law and tort law. We'll elaborate on most of these differences in class.

immediate purposepunishment of criminalcompensation of victim
balance of defendant's wrong and victim's injuryemphasis on df's moral wrong, not victim's injuryemphasis on victim's injury, not df's moral wrong
theory of offenseoffense to all society; public interestonly victim injured; private interest only
initiating partythe state, "the people", represented by prosecutorthe victim, plaintiff
verb/nountry/trial, or prosecute/prosecutionsue/suit
defendant's right to a jury trialyes (6th Amendment)only sometimes (7th Amendment)
defendant's right to counselyesno
deadline on actionstatute of limitationslaches; equitable estoppel; sometimes a statute of limitations
category of responsibilityguiltliability
standard of proof"beyond a reasonable doubt""by a preponderance of the evidence"
judge may direct a verdict of guiltynoyes
fate of convicted defendantsuffers punishment (fine, imprisonment, death)pays compensatory damages, sometimes punitive damages; sometimes is enjoined
fate of victimignoredcompensated
permissible appealsby defendant only (state barred by double jeopardy)by defendant or plaintiff
defendant's testimonymay not be compelled (privilege against self-incrimination)may be compelled
affirmative defensesexcuse, justificationimmunity, consent, privilege (and others)
effect of victim consent, forgiveness, condonationconsent rarely a defenseconsent always a defense
general domain of lawcriminalcivil
form of lawstatute (mostly)case law, common law (mostly)
primary lawmakerlegislaturecourt
accountability of lawmakerelectedusually appointed, sometimes for life
role of precedentonly for interpreting statutefor substance
availability, prior notice, promulgation of lawalways written; clarity and prior notice importantunwritten except as cases after the fact
retroactivity of lawno ex post facto; usually no "common law crimes"may be ex post facto
    This list of differences should not obscure the similarities between criminal law and tort law. For example, both kinds of law:
    • must be consistent with the state and federal constitutions
    • are applied and interpreted by courts
    • use juries for questions of fact
    • have similar appeal routes for convicted defendants
    • have procedural and substantive dimensions
    • may apply to the very same act (both kinds of legal action may proceed simultaneously)
    • may use the same legal concepts (battery is both a crime and tort; punitive damages resemble criminal fines; contempt of court can be criminal or civil).