Explain the difference between:Public and private law,Procedural and substantive law

  • Public and Private Law

Public law:

Comprises those branches or fields of law in which the state has a direct interest as the sovereign.

It is concerned with the constitution and functions of the various organs of government, including local authorities, their relations with each other and the citizenry. Examples include Constitutional law, Administrative law and Criminal law. It asserts state sovereignty.

Private law

Consists of those fields of law in which the state has no direct interest as the state. It is concerned with the rights and duties of persons in ordinary transactions e.g. law of contract, torts, marriage, succession, trust, property etc.

(ii)                Procedural and substantive law Substantive law

Consists of the laws themselves, as opposed to the procedure on how to apply them. It is concerned with the rights and duties of persons and prescribed remedies e.g law of torts, law of marriage, law of contract, etc.

It defines offences and prescribes punishment e.g. the penal code Cap 63 Law of Kenya.

Procedural law

Consists of the steps or the guiding principles or the rules of practice to be complied with in the application of substantive law or in the administration of justice. Examples include Civil Procedure Act and the Criminal Procedure Code.

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