Procedural Law

In contrast to substantive laws, procedural laws, also known as adjective laws, are the laws whose act is the machinery for enforcing rights and duties. Procedural laws comprise the rules by which a court hears and determines what happens in civil criminal or administrative proceedings, as well as the methods by which substantive laws are made and administered. The rules are designed to ensure a fair and consistent application of due process of fundamental justice to all cases before any court.

Procedural laws

The validity of substantive law is tried and tested through the procedures of procedural law. In the context of procedural laws, The right may not exhaustively refer to the right to information, right to justice, right to participate and general civil and political rights. For example, in the sphere of environmental law, These procedural rights have been considered in the UNECE Convention on access to information on public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters also known as the Aarhus convention. Procedural laws are made to ensure the best distribution of judicial resources. All procedural laws are made following the due process of the law.

A court cannot impose a civil or criminal penalty on any individual who has not received any notice of the case filed against him/her or he hasn’t got a fair opportunity to present evidence or defend himself/herself. the standardization of the procedural laws depends on how many cases is filed, parties are informed, evidence is presented in the facts are determined to maximise the fairness of any legal proceeding.

Nature of Procedural laws

  • Procedural laws lay down the Ways and mean substantive laws can be enforced.
  • They do not carry any independent powers to decide any case.
  • These laws are applied in the legal procedure which sometimes may be used in non-legal contexts sorted filing any suits or the manner any case will proceed.
  • These laws are enforced by the act of parliament and implemented by the government.
  • Apart from prescribing Ways and Means of enforcing rights, procedural laws also redress for the infringement of rights, also describe the machinery for proceeding of any suit.
  • In the opinion of Holland, although procedural laws are concerned with the rights and acts of a private litigant, it also describes the organization of courts and the duties of the judge.
  • A procedural lawsuit should always follow substantive law.

Sources of procedural laws

Procedural laws are extremely important in the administration of justice. They function as the means by which substantive laws should be implemented. The primary source of procedural laws is the constitution. Other sources of procedural laws include:

  • Statutes enacted by the legislature.
  • Written regulations for employees of various law enforcement agencies. These regulations can’t be considered laws but violating them results in taking internal action.
  • Various rules procedural guidelines and rulings of cases laid down by the Supreme Court.

Types of procedural laws

Different legal systems have different procedural laws. some of the procedural laws may primarily look for the truth or fairness between the parties and some procedural laws target a speedy resolution of disputes. Other procedural laws may also consist of the proper and thorough application of legal principles. Procedural laws are the means to enforce substantive laws. hence, there exist different types of procedural laws depending on the characteristic of substandard laws.They are:

  1. Civil procedural laws or laws of Civil Procedure
  2. Criminal procedural laws or law criminal procedure

Laws of Civil Procedures

The law of Civil Procedure comprises the rules regulations and standards for the courts to follow during cases relating to civil matters and various civil traits.

  • These laws govern how a civil suit or case should commence and the procedure to be followed during the case. They are dictated.
  • The nature of pleadings and statements of cases, motions, or applications available remedies for civil cases.
  • The orders are to be passed in civil cases.
  • The limiting time for appeal in the manner of how the cases are to be disposed of.
  • The conduct of civil trials
  • The process of passing judgement
  • How the courts, judicial officers and clerks must function.

Civil procedural laws determine the parties of any civil case the parties for claims concerning the companies or institutions against one another. In addition, the government in power or any of the subdivisions or agencies of the government may also be parties to civil suits filed by private individuals or groups.

Laws of criminal procedures

While substantive criminal laws deal with the punishment for criminal offences against public or private individuals the law of criminal procedure can be termed corollary where these laws lay down the criminal procedures. These laws describe how criminal laws should be applied and it’s a procedure.

Judicial proceedings intend to find out the true facts and establish guilt or innocence by making the best use of the available prices of evidence. Hence Criminal procedural laws also govern the presentation of evidence becoming the witness for the criminal offences committed and the documentation and establishment of the offences through physical proof.

Stage of procedural criminal laws

The procedure given a loss can be further divided into two stages or phases:

  1. The investigatory stage
  2. The adjudicatory stage

In the investigatory stage the investigation mainly consists of.

  1. Confirming facts and circumstances of cases by investigating police officers or by the investigative agency.
  2. Arresting the suspect based on circumstantial evidence.

The adjudicatory stages start with the trial of the suspect for the acquisition of the criminal offence committed in the court.

System of Procedural laws

These are two of the most widely used procedural legal system in the world that have developed based on the different ways of implementing legal rules and choices. This system of procedural laws has two types :1. Criminal law procedures and 2. common law procedures have their fair share of weaknesses.

Civil law procedures

Historically Civil Procedures have originated from the ancient Roman legal system the system gives importance to the responsibility for the development of deciding disputes and maintaining consistency in following the legal rules. The primary responsibility to decide the cases and a dispute is given to the state officials here being the judiciary. It is often associated with Roman law.

Civil law procedures stress the responsibility of the judiciary in a professional manner. The judiciary truly sees the matters of disputes and then decides on to final outcome. The system helps in reducing the possibility that the outcome of a lawsuit will favour one of the parties. It ensures that outcomes and legal rules will remain consistent throughout the proceeding. However, it may make the parties feel that they were not given any opportunity to be heard properly and that the facts of the dispute were not adequately probed. Countries such as France Germany Greece Italy Japan Mexico Russia follow the civil law procedures.

Common law procedures

The common law procedures have its root in the English legal system. Common love procedure is also found in the countries who is where once English colonise and followed or desired their legal system from the legal system of England.

Unlike the civil law procedure where the judiciary has the primary responsibility the common law procedures give the primary responsibility to the parties and their legal representatives to present the factual evidence and legal arguments in their own favour respectively to a judge or in some cases before the jury. The rule of the judge or the jury is restricted in the common law procedure to decide which party has presented the better and most valid argument. A Favourable judgement or order is usually given depending on the strength of the arguments.

Common law procedure allows the parties to control the flow of the litigation and it allows the winning party to be satisfied with the outcome of the particular dispute. The parties are given enough opportunity to be heard before any well-trained judiciary. However, the system leads the parties to spend huge sums in expenses on litigation. The common law system also sometimes results in legal rulings that are inconsistent and bad in law.

Countries such as the United States Canada and most of the Commonwealth countries follow common law procedures.

Limitations of procedural laws:

Procedural laws are designed to establish the procedures and rules that govern how legal proceedings should be conducted. While they play an essential role in maintaining order and fairness in the legal system, they also have certain limitations, including:

  • Some of the procedural laws may impose strict time limitations which may either hasten or slow down the speed of legal proceedings.
  • Any party who is unfamiliar with these law may breach the guidelines. Though they may not affect the merits of the case, the failure to follow these guidelines may severely damage the chances of the party.
  • Procedural laws are constantly torn between arguments that judges should have less discretion to avoid a result based more on personal preferences than the laws or the facts.