RunSensible’s Legal Dictionary

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Legal Dictionary

Procedural law

Procedural law comprises the rules governing the mechanisms and methods by which courts apply substantive law to legal proceedings. It concerns the process through which claims and defences are made, evidence is presented, and hearings and trials are conducted. While substantive law deals with the actual rights and duties of everyday life, such as the laws against theft or the regulations for contract enforcement, procedural law ensures a fair and consistent method for enforcing those laws.

Procedural rules dictate how a lawsuit or criminal prosecution proceeds from start to finish. These rules cover a wide range of topics, including how to file a lawsuit, the service of process, motions and pleadings, the conduct of trials, the process for appeal, and the enforcement of judgments. Procedural law ensures legal proceedings are carried out orderly, preventing arbitrary or biased practices.

Furthermore, procedural law also lays down the steps for judicial officers to follow in adjudicating cases. This is essential to uphold the principle of justice, ensuring that every case is treated impartially and that the legal process respects the rights of all parties involved. In essence, procedural law facilitates the enforcement of substantive law while protecting the rights of the defendant and the interests of the public.

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