Differences between Private Law and Public Law

This authority regulates public institutions or organizations operating on behalf of the public and has three primary divisions: constitutional, administrative, and criminal law. Private law refers to the body of laws that control interactions between private parties. It covers a number of important legal topics; the most crucial ones being family law, contracts, property, equity, and trusts. Therefore, the primary distinction between public and private law is that while public law regulates interactions between citizens and the state, private law regulates relationships between citizens.

Law comes in a wide variety of forms, from civil to criminal to administrative to worldwide. There has always been a division between public and private law. The easiest way to begin comprehending this distinction is to define and discuss what private and public law are.

What is Private Law?

The body of law that regulates interactions between private individuals is known as private law. The rights and obligations of individuals and private entities in their interactions with one another are characterized by private law. It covers a number of important legal topics, including family law, contracts, property, equity, and trusts. The right of individuals to pursue their objectives freely is protected by private law. In this case, the parties' legal relationships allow them to act freely in their respective capacities as private individuals. The goal of private law is to protect the community's citizens' freedom and private interests.

  • Any situation involving interactions between people in a legal system is subject to private law.

  • As a result, this kind of law controls how people and governments interact. This also goes by the name of "common law." It covers tort law, family law, contract law, commercial law, and the law of property and trust.

Remedies and Punishment

These categories of remedies and punishments under private law include:

Restitution The party that is accused of breaking the law is required to put everything back in the same condition as if the violation never occurred.
Damages/Compensation The court shall fix the amount to be given as compensation for the real injury or loss caused.
Returning enrichment The party who received an unfair benefit (unjust enrichment) must make restitution.
Specific Performance The party is required to perform the breach specifically or forfeit something else.

All of these types of remedies are expressly prohibited by law, which also describes the criteria under which the affected party may receive punishment as well as the circumstances under which one or more of the remedies may be made accessible.

Example  Organizations and employment are two common areas where private law is used. For instance, the standards of conduct set by an employer This can take the form of daily regulations like not smoking in the office, not creating a hostile work atmosphere, etc. These policies carry a variety of consequences, from an oral reprimand to dismissal from the company.

What is Public Law?

The connection between the government and the people is managed by public law. It consists of regulations guiding the interactions between the several parts of government as well as those governing interactions between the government and the general public or other private entities. It consists of criminal, administrative, and constitutional law.

  • A system of laws known as public law regulates interactions between private parties, including people and businesses, and governmental entities (like government departments and local authorities).

  • Public law generally addresses problems that have an impact on society as a whole. Other statutes included in this category of public law includes:

  • Legal administration

  • Governing principles

  • Penal code

  • International laws; municipal laws

Example − Public agencies perform public duties. The provision of housing and social services, however, is now handled by private organizations. If a private organization is performing a public function, or something that a public entity would typically undertake, then that organization may be subject to public law.

Public Law versus Private Law

After being defined, some distinctions may have already been clear, but let's highlight the differences. These two terms are often only used to categorize legislation within the legal system. Instead of regulating people, public law regulates the legal system as a whole. Simply put, whether an act or acts influence society as a whole or a dispute between two or more people determines whether it falls under public law or private law.

A distinction between public law and private law can also be made based on the level of scrutiny given to each individual's behavior. Some would argue, for instance, that the dissemination of sexually explicit material may be illegal if it "harms the public" or "violates a public standard of decency."


It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between public and private law, and some actions may be considered to be in violation of both at once. It may be decided that some actions that are deemed to be "offences against society" are sufficiently "public" in nature to qualify as crimes. Private harm is a common component of property crimes. Therefore, these "private" offenses could be categorized as both torts and felonies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. What does "public law" mean exactly?

Ans: Public law is the classification of law that controls how public entities and their behaviors. Public law should guarantee that public bodies behave ethically, sensibly, fairly, and in a manner that respects the human rights of individuals they may be having an impact on.

Q2. What does private law seek to achieve?

Ans: Private law exists to support persons in conflicts involving private concerns and affects the rights and obligations of individuals, families, businesses, and small groups. Its coverage is narrower than that of public law and includes: The rights and obligations of persons who enter into contracts are governed by contract law.

Q3. How is private law upheld?

Ans: Private pledges established between two parties are enforceable in court under the system of contract law. Individuals who file lawsuits against lawbreakers execute the laws under the private law system.

Q4. Is everyone subject to private law?

Ans: Private laws are passed to protect the rights of an individual, family, or small group of people who have been harmed by government policies or who are contesting a decision made by an executive agency, such as deportation.

Q5. What classification of law is public law?

Ans: Public law is the area of the law that regulates interactions between people who directly affect society, including those between legal entities and the government, institutions within a state, and different parts of the government.