Law is an instrument to regulate and control the society. There are several types of laws in existence. There is no unanimous view in classification of law among the Jurists and scholars of this field. The basis of classification is also different among them. Therefore it is very difficult task to give particular classification which may be acceptable for all. There are three general types which are common in most of the countries.

  • From the point of view of creation and nature of law. e.g. Substantive and Procedural law
  • From the point of view of jurisdiction. e.g. Criminal and Civil 
  • From the point of view of legal effect. e.g. Private and Public

1. From the point of view of creation and nature of law

  • Substantive Law:

It is fundamental part of law and it is related to the Rights, Duties and liabilities of persons. It specifies the definitions of such rights, duties and liabilities of a person in the country. It is related as doctrinal part of law.

According to Salmond: Substantive law is concerned with the ends of the administration of Justice. Substantive law is based on the legal principles and related to the subject matter and motive of the law. It is the real and actual law. It deals with content of Law.

  • Procedural Law

The Procedural law deals with how the content of law is implemented while substantive law deals with the content of law. It is related to the procedure of legal proceedings. It also determines the steps of process of legal remedy in the case of violation of substantive law. It is supplementary parts of substantive law. It deals with the process regarding how to acquire remedy. If refers to the procedure for putting law into practice.

Differences between Substantive Law and Procedural Law


Substantive law

Procedural Law

1.    It is known as law of the rights and duties.

It is known as remedial law.

2.    It is the end of the law

It is the means of the law.

3.    It contains rights and remedies of the victim party.

It contains modes and conditions to restore rights of the victim party.

4.    It determines rights and relationship of the parties.

It determines the relation between court and the parties to a particular case.

 2. From the point of view of jurisdiction

  •  Criminal Law:

Criminal law determines the crime and punishment. A punishment will be determined for them under the criminal law. It is believed as a rigid law. It deals with the crime against the state. Criminalization, de-criminalization and re- criminalization of human conduct are the subject matters of it. This law prohibits such types of human activities which are regarded as harmful to the society or state.

  • Civil Law:

Civil law is that part of law, which is related with the property and position of persons. It is made and enforced by the state to regulate the society. Civil law deals with the wrong doing of the individuals. Like; land law, contract law, and commercial law are the illustrations of civil law.

3. From the point of view of legal effect

  •  Private Law:

This part of law is very much important and necessary for general people for their daily activities. It regulates the relations between two or more persons. It deals with the personal rights, duties and liabilities. And it may be civil and criminal in nature. Contract law, Commercial law, Family law are the illustrations of this category of law.

  • Public Law:

Public law deals in the public matters. It defines and regulates the relation between the state and people. Public law is related to the public interest and crimes regarding the security, public health and so on. e.g. Constitution deals with the jurisdiction of Governmental bodies and dispute between local and national governments.