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(i) Any legal system in which the full body of law is determined by the apparatus of state and is not derived from the decisions made by the judiciary. Roman law was largely of this sort. The English legal system, in contrast, developed primarily as a system of judicially created 'common law'.

(ii) A branch of law dealing with the responsibilities of legal persons to one another. In this sense, civil law is opposed to criminal law, and constitutes the branch of law dealing with disputes between individuals and/or organizations, in which compensation may be awarded to the losing party. For instance, if a car crash victim claims damages against the driver for loss or injury sustained in an accident, this will be a civil law case.