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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
private law
▪ A new range of private law orders was introduced to provide for the care and upbringing of children.
▪ Instead we have to give it to a private law firm known for its political clout.
▪ Public law can, of course, be contrasted with private law.
▪ Rather we should begin by asking why we have a distinction between public and private law.
▪ The law of contract, tort and property are central areas of private law.
▪ The question of whether, as a matter of private law, individual solicitors were entitled to a pay-out, was irrelevant.
▪ There is no private law firm where the defeated candidates can retire.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
private law

Private \Pri"vate\ (?; 48), a. [L. privatus apart from the state, peculiar to an individual, private, properly p. p. of privare to bereave, deprive, originally, to separate, fr. privus single, private, perhaps originally, put forward (hence, alone, single) and akin to prae before. See Prior, a., and cf. Deprive, Privy, a.]

  1. Belonging to, or concerning, an individual person, company, or interest; peculiar to one's self; unconnected with others; personal; one's own; not public; not general; separate; as, a man's private opinion; private property; a private purse; private expenses or interests; a private secretary.

  2. Sequestered from company or observation; appropriated to an individual; secret; secluded; lonely; solitary; as, a private room or apartment; private prayer.

    Reason . . . then retires Into her private cell when nature rests.

  3. Not invested with, or engaged in, public office or employment; as, a private citizen; private life.

    A private person may arrest a felon.

  4. Not publicly known; not open; secret; as, a private negotiation; a private understanding.

  5. Having secret or private knowledge; privy. [Obs.]

    Private act or Private statute, a statute exclusively for the settlement of private and personal interests, of which courts do not take judicial notice; -- opposed to a general law, which operates on the whole community. In the United States Congress, similar private acts are referred to as private law and a general law as a public law.

    Private nuisance or wrong. See Nuisance.

    Private soldier. See Private, n., 5.

    Private way, a right of private passage over another man's ground; also, a road on private land, contrasted with public road, which is on a public right of way.

private law

n. (context legal English) A category of law governing the relationship among persons (citizens or legal persons including corporations), as opposed to relations between the state and persons. Major subdivisions of private law include (depending on whether the jurisdiction belongs to the civil law, common law, or other legal tradition) tort law and contract law or the law of obligations as well as property law, family law, commercial law, and the law of succession (probate and estates). It encompasses most areas of law considered civil law (i.e., non-criminal law), such as those governed by a civil code (in a civil-law or continental-traditional legal system).

Private law

Private law is that part of a civil law legal system which is part of the jus commune that involves relationships between individuals, such as the law of contracts or torts (as it is called in the common law), and the law of obligations (as it is called in civil legal systems). It is to be distinguished from public law, which deals with relationships between both natural and artificial persons (i.e., organizations) and the state, including regulatory statutes, penal law and other law that affects the public order. In general terms, private law involves interactions between private citizens, whereas public law involves interrelations between the state and the general population.

Private law (disambiguation)

Private law is the area of law concerned with relationships between individual persons (citizens and companies).

Private law may also refer to:

  • Private international law, a procedure of resolving conflicts within domestic laws
  • Civil law (private law), In England and Wales, law relating to civil wrongs and quasi-contracts
  • An Act of Congress in the United States relating to specific institutions or individuals

Usage examples of "private law".

One of these, the promissory oath, is no longer the foundation of any rights in private law.

Everybody knew he'd been canned as an assistant city attorney for running a private law practice out of City Hall.

The Emperor's private law library contained no filmbooks, texts, scrolls, or written opinions.

And we all know where Private Law comes from, except the poor professor here—.

It's one of the largest private law libraries in the country, and we're proud of it.