Administrative, Civil and Criminal Proceedings
The majority of the legal challenges on this site are either administrative or civil disputes.
Civil disputes broadly refer to any issues other than those that are criminalised under domestic law. Judges in these proceedings cannot prosecute but will issue a fine or an order to the defendant, such as to cease the activity that has been declared unlawful.
Proceedings under administrative law refer to those proceedings which seek to challenge the actions and decisions of public bodies. It provides a way to challenge maladministration or the misuse or abuse of power by a public body. For example, in the UK, judges can review the procedural lawfulness of a decision of a public body, rather than reviewing the decision’s substance and merits.
In civil law jurisdictions, there often are specialised courts or sections that deal with administrative cases with their own specific rules of procedure. Several of the cases documented on this website took place in administrative courts of this nature.
In criminal proceedings, such as in the Italian case, the evidentiary threshold for proving the liability of specific individuals is significantly higher than in civil proceedings. It requires an act to have been committed that amounts to a criminal act (the actus reus) and for the person who committed it to have had the required state of mind when carrying out the criminalised conduct (the mens rea).
To establish the mental element of intent, the crime must have either been committed deliberately, or the person to have been manifestly reckless in their actions. A determination of culpability leads to criminal charges, prosecution and sentencing, including possible imprisonment.