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2. Characterize law and differentiate between civil law and criminal law.

Some characteristics of law are:


- Law is supreme to all,
- Law focuses both the right and might and is the combination of both,
- Law treats every living beings equally on equity basis,
- Law is rigid because no one can escape from it and even the mightiest kings must follow
the law,
- Law in the form of norms and values are not created but are born with people within
them,
- Law in the form of command is created and can however be changed according to need
of time. Hence it is dynamic in nature,
- Each and every society, culture, state have their own set of norms and values which
proves that law differs from one place to another,
- Every sovereign must be under law i.e. law is above the sovereign,
- Law ensures that there is harmony among people with mutual protection,
- Law is created by legislative, implemented by executive and checked, administered, and
sometimes defined by Judiciary.

Difference between Civil and Criminal law:


BASES CIVIL LAW CRIMINAL LAW
DEFINITION deals with the disputes between Deals with crime and the legal
individuals, organizations, or punishment of criminal offenses.
between the two, in which
compensation is awarded to the
victim
PURPOSE deal with the disputes between maintain the stability of the state
individuals, organizations, or and society by punishing offenders
between the two and deterring them and others from
offending
CASE FILED BY Private party Any organ of government on behalf
of Government
DECISION Defendant can be found liable or not Defendant is convicted if guilty and
liable, the judge decides this acquitted if not guilty.
The jury decide this.
TYPE OF Compensation (usually financial) for A guilty defendant is subject to
PUNISHMENT injuries or damages, or an injunction Custodial (imprisonment) or Non-
in nuisance. custodial punishment (fines or
community service). In exceptional
cases, the death penalty (not in
Nepal)
APPEALS Either party (claimant or defendant) Only the defendant may appeal a
can appeal a court's decision. court's verdict. The prosecution is
not allowed to appeal.
EXAMPLES Landlord/tenant disputes, divorce Theft, assault, robbery, trafficking in
proceedings, child custody controlled substances, murder, etc.
proceedings, property disputes,
personal injury, etc.

Source: http://www.diffen.com/difference/Civil_Law_vs_Criminal_Law

3. Introduce precedent and ordinance. How are they regarded as the source of
law? Write in your answer.
Precedent: Precedents are principles or rule established in a previous legal case that is either
binding on or persuasive for a court or other tribunal when deciding subsequent cases with
similar issues or facts. These are termed as Najeer (glh/) in Nepali. These are the past decisions
made by the Supreme Court to provide any victims with justice.

Ordinance: It is the law made by council of minister when either the law made by parliament is
inactive or the parliament itself is absent. It is active/effective when the Head of State certifies
the ordinance and is published in Rajpatra. It is effective until the law is made by the parliament.
The ordinance brought up by council of minister during the absence of parliament should be
presented in parliament within two months after the parliament resumes and accordingly the law
related to it shall be made by parliament.

Both Precedent and Ordinance are regarded as the source of law. Let us take an example in
Nepals case. The case of Sabina Damai versus Dolakha District Administration Office was
one of the most historic precedent by Supreme Court of Nepal in 2011, which later changed the
way people get their citizenship. Even the changes were made in constitution regarding the
citizenship in the name of mother. Also talking about the Ordinance, we can take an example of
Nepal itself. The date was 19 November 2010; lawmakers of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist-
Centre) (then United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)) prevented then The Finance Minister,
Mr. Surendra Pandey, from presenting the budget at House of Representative. And after that
incident, Government of Nepal decided to recommend the President to end the budget session
and introduce the budget for fiscal year 2010/2011 through an Ordinance, which later was
presented in the house and was passed after the house was resumed. Budget is also a law, which
guides the government for expenditure and income throughout any fiscal year. Therefore, the
ordinance was the source of the law (Budget) in this scenario.