What is Private Law?

Private law is one that is responsible for regulating relationships between individuals, which are raised in their own name and benefit. It is a branch of law made up of civil law and commercial law, among others.

Civil law regulates the private relations of citizens among themselves, generally to protect the interests of the person in the moral and patrimonial order. Mercantile law or commercial law, for its part, deals with the regulation of relationships linked to people, acts, places and commercial contracts .

Private law regulates relationships between individuals. See Abbreviation Finder for acronyms related to Private Law.

Private law vs. public Law

Private law can be opposed, for analytical purposes, to public law, which studies the legal order of the links between citizens and public power, and between the different bodies of public power among themselves.

In any case, it is important to bear in mind that, beyond governing relations between individuals, private law also regulates relations between citizens and the State in cases where the State acts as an individual and does not exercise its public authority.

It is usual for private law to be opposed to public law for analytical purposes.

Main differences

The separation between private law and public law has been disappearing over time, especially since the public administration began to outsource several of its activities in companies subject to private law. However, certain characteristics of each of them can still be pointed out.

The fundamental principles of private law are autonomy of will (each of the parties pursues its own interests) and the principle of equality (subjects of law are on an equal footing within the framework of private acts).

When the most important subject of a relationship is the State, we speak of public and private law if it is a private person; this is recorded in the theory of interest developed by Ulpiano, which is considered one of the most classic and solid.

In any case, this theory is not completely accepted since it is considered that it seems to refer to economic type goods and, clearly, they are not the only ones existing; In addition, in many cases, public and private interests are not clearly defined, so this theory could not collaborate with the clarification of a situation framed in this situation.

Theories about public law

Due to these contradictions, other theories have emerged over time, some of them are:

* The theory of purpose: expresses that public law takes place when it comes to regulating the structure or functioning of a state agency and its relationships and private law when what should be regulated is the relationship between individuals.

* The theory of the end subject or recipient of property rights: it is more specific than the previous ones and is based on various kinds of property and the subject who is the owner of them. The classes are called: public property (the owner is the State and public law follows from it), collective property (the owner is the entire community and collective law follows from it) and private property (the owner is an individual). and private law follows from it).

There are other theories, however these are the most relevant. Lastly, it should be mentioned that civil law is also understood as private law, that is to say, that which contemplates certain individual principles such as patrimonial and family relations and that regulates the most general and ordinary questions of life.

Private Law