Civil law deals with behaviour that constitutes an injury to an individual or other private party, such as a corporation. Examples are defamation (including libel and slander), breach of contract, negligence resulting in injury or death, and property damage.

Criminal law cases are only conducted through the criminal court system. In contrast, civil laws deal with the private rights of individuals. Civil laws are applied when an individual has had his or her rights violated or when individuals have disputes with other individuals or organizations.