The effect of the Criminal Law is to prohibit individuals from conducting themselves in such a way as to be harmful to the community as a whole. In order to achieve this, Criminal Law imposes various sanctions or penalties ranging from fines imposed for less serious crimes, to imprisonment for more heinous crimes. Purpose of these sanctions may be seen as:
On the other hand, Civil Law is concerned with regulating relations between individuals in the principle areas of human conduct. Civil Law works by imposing certain special types of rules (principles) of conduct which both act as a standard of behavior and also as a means of resolving disputes when disputes arise. Civil Law imposes obligations which regulate and control:
- Agreements: Agreements between individuals (contracts, shipping charter-party)
- Tort: Tort is the law of civil wrongs. Tort is the actions which individuals might take which may affect or cause harm or damage to others
- Ownership and types of property including real property, namely land, and the various possessory interests in such property. Chattel is the property other than land.
Besides Common and Civil Law, there are more specialized areas of law, which are built upon these basic rules of business and commercial law, including the specific law covering Carriage of Goods by Sea (COGS).