Scope of law

The law regulates every aspect of life. From the legal requirement of registering a child's birth to regulating what happens to property after death, the law dictates what can and cannot legally be done.

There are many different areas of law:

  • criminal law – covers crime or offences (minor acts of law breaking)
  • civil law – covers private matters between individuals
  • employment law – covers the relationships between employers and employees
  • family law – covers family-related matters

Civil law

Glasgow Sheriff Court
Glasgow Sheriff Court

Civil law covers private matters between individuals. Although there are many different types of cases dealt with under civil law, examples would include:

  • defamation of character
  • legal disputes relating to property ownership
  • disagreement in relation to a divorce

Criminal law

High Court of Justiciary, Glasgow
High Court of Justiciary, Glasgow

Criminal law covers crime or offences. This includes violent crime, such as murder and assault, or property crime, such as theft or vandalism.

The age at which children can be tried under criminal prosecution in Scotland is 12-years-old. 12-years-old children can also be referred to the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration, not the Procurator Fiscal. In the rest of the UK, there is no Children's Reporter Administration.