The law concerns many matters such as cohabitation, insurance, mortgage agreements, permits and so on. Because law is such a broad principle, law has been divided into five areas of law; constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law, civil law and international law. Below is an explanation of the different legal areas.
Constitutional law regulates the organization of government. You will find the rules surrounding government bodies and the role of the citizen in the state. For example, the relationship between the House of Representatives and the government, the role of the Queen, the voting rights of citizens. The Constitution contains the basic rules that are difficult to tinker with. Furthermore, the other important constitutional laws are set out in the Electoral Act, the Province Act, the Municipal Act and the Police Act.
Organizing society can also be called governing. You ensure that things run smoothly. This is the job of the government. Administrative law contains the laws that the government must adhere to when governing the country. It is very similar to constitutional law, because this law also concerns the government. The difference is that constitutional law provides an organizational picture, and administrative law regulates how the government should deal with its citizens. The most important law in administrative law is the General Administrative Law Act, which provides government bodies with a large number of rules for the performance of their administrative tasks. Among other things, there are rules that ensure that the government makes safe and fair decisions. It also describes what the rights of the citizen are in the event of a disagreement about a particular matter. So if you disagree with something, consult administrative law and see what you can do about it and which court you can go to. Of course there is also the National Ombudsman.
The daily things in life for an average citizen are described in civil law. Think of living, working, shopping, getting married and so on. Civil law describes how citizens should act towards each other and what your rights and obligations are. This could be about renting a house, but also about buying a car, as well as about personal matters such as getting married and your relationship with your children. The most important rules in civil law are contained in the Civil Code. The Code of Civil Procedure states how a lawsuit in civil law proceeds.
Criminal law is a special one. We have many commandments and prohibitions in our law. Criminal law sets out the consequences of violating a law. What are the consequences of stealing a car, or of rowdiness? The judges rely on criminal law to determine your sentence. An important code in criminal law is the Criminal Code (Sr.). It contains an enormous number of penal provisions for criminal acts. Not all violations are included in criminal law, or in law at all. Then there is a problem and the judge will consult case law, which describes similar cases in which a judge has made a ruling. Based on this, the judge can still determine a sentence without there being much difference in sentence for the same offense.
This describes the relationship between countries and our position in international organizations such as the EU and the UN. Global cooperation is becoming increasingly important and therefore international law is also becoming increasingly important. The rules affect, for example, the price of our milk and border policy. We have signed international treaties that we must adhere to. Take the Geneva Convention on the Reception of Aliens. In short, the five legal areas are there to organize society and guarantee safety.