Difference between Substantive Law and Adjective Law

No one is exempt from compliance with the law, which is why there are different regulations, precepts and laws that regulate the behavior of individuals in a community; but in addition, these same guidelines set forth the obligation of State agencies to enforce the rules, to guarantee the rights of each citizen.

What is Substantive Law?

The substantive law are the rules that every individual must comply with, since they are established as duties and obligations in the laws of the State. Through them, it is sought to regulate the behavior of the individual in society, which if infringed lead to sanctions by the competent bodies.

These regulations are embodied in legal instruments such as the Civil Code, Criminal Code, Commercial Law, among others.

It can be said then, that the substantive law exposes the “ought to be” of the subject in a society , ensuring his good behavior and the fulfillment of his obligations and responsibilities as a citizen. For example, within the substantive law there is the obligation that a person has with the landlord to pay the rent of the dwelling.

What is Adjective Law?

Regarding the adjective right, it refers to the obligation on the part of the competent State agencies to enforce the substantive right of each citizen of the region. They are established in the laws, precepts and norms, to guarantee that the inhabitants can freely exercise their rights, maintaining a behavior according to society.

It is also included within the adjective law, the regulation of legal relations, such as the implementation of judicial activity, especially in terms of prosecutions and other procedures.

An example of the adjective right, in the event that the tenant fails to pay the rent to the landlord, the latter goes to the corresponding instances so that they pressure the offender to comply with his contract or other pertinent sanctions will be applied. So the adjective law can be seen as a channel to enforce the substantive law.

Likewise, the adjective right has to do with the precepts of the State in guaranteeing the right to life, the right to housing, the right to health, the right to education,…

Difference between Substantive Law and Adjective Law

  • The substantive law exposes the norm, while the adjective law offers the procedure to enforce the substantive law.
  • The fulfillment of the adjective right falls to the organs of the State, unlike the substantive, which must be fulfilled by the subject.
  • Substantive law indicates what is fair, but it is through the mechanisms of adjective law that justice is done.
  • The imposition of behaviors to be followed by individuals is dictated by substantive law; now it is up to the adjective right how to sanction non-compliance with established obligations or norms.

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