Difference Between Substantive and Procedural Law

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: July 16, 2022


Difference Between Substantive and Procedural Law Difference Between Substantive and Procedural Law

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The laws enforced by a government entity, such as those of the government, are comprehensive and lay out rules and regulations that differ entirely on a case-by-case basis. The steps required to be taken following the violation are based on the kind of law in violation and the severity of the offense committed.

Substantive Law forms the foundation of relationships between the state and the citizens, and the individual to the individual is established. This is the core of the Law. It sets out all rules and regulations citizens must adhere to. This categorizes violations into various kinds.

The Procedural Law defines the process that the court will follow after it has been determined that the Substantive Law has sentenced any offenders. This encompasses all the procedures and court procedures used by the court to move cases forward. The rules and guidelines set out by procedural Law have to be adhered to by the court and both the parties in the case.

Substantive Law vs. Procedural Law

The primary distinction between Substantive Law and Procedural Law is that Substantive Law defines the penalizing aspects by looking at the offense committed and the damage caused. In contrast, Procedural Law lays down the procedure followed in the case and how punishments are dealt with. Substantive Law outlines the case, while Procedural Law sets the actual process.

Difference Between Procedural Law and Substantive Law in Tabular Form

Table: Substantive Law vs. Procedural Law
Parameter of comparison
Substantive Law
Procedural Law
The substantive law defines how rules are interpreted and the regulations and the obligations that citizens are required to adhere to.
Procedural law defines the procedures that the court uses to move a particular case forward
The law establishes the function of the body that governs
These laws define the procedure for court hearings in an individual case.
The substantive law system is more effective because it defines the system of rule        
Procedural Laws are enacted after the Substantive Law has been found guilty
Substantive Laws are not subject to change under any circumstances.
The Procedural Laws can differ from one case to the next.
The law of the land is followed for good governance        
Governance is determined by the decision of the legislature, the governing body, the court, etc.

What is Substantive Law?

Substantive Laws are written laws that outline the rules and the system of governing of the body that governs. They define how to conduct business and the regulations all citizens of the nation must adhere to.

Substantive Law forms the foundation upon which the governing bodies like the courts operate. They establish the relationship between state institutions and individuals and the relationship between the individual and the state.

They are the most prestigious authority when it comes to determining the punishment that must be handed out in the event of an infraction. They are the legal system that differentiates legal and illegal conduct, and consequently, all legal proceedings are based on fundamental Law.

The rules of procedure followed when the case has been submitted to the court are based on the verdict given when examining the Law substantively. The substantive laws define the rules of governance for the country. These are all factors to consider when deciding whether to punish or impose a penalty for the infraction or violation of any laws.

Substantive Law, therefore, deals with the content of any particular case. Based on the specific case and the infraction of any law, the penal system may determine the penalty and sanctions.

Types Substantive Law

The Substantive Law of the context of a lawsuit

Substantive Law in a case is an aspect of the "substance" that is a lawsuit that addresses the specifics of the matter and clearly defines the scope of Law that applies to every particular situation. In this way, the most effective option for a lawsuit can be implemented in the event of bringing the person in a lawsuit or helping someone defend someone who has found himself in the middle of an action. For example, substantive Law in the case of negligence claims negligent claim is composed of four main components:

The obligation to safeguard others

The failure to adhere to an appropriate quality of care

The most likely cause

Actual injury

State laws in the state where the lawsuit is filed will determine the suit's scope and the extent to which the particular element is present.

Negligence is usually prosecuted in instances involving a motor accident in a vehicle. While every state will insist that the plaintiff be able to prove these four components of substantive Law to prevail in the case of negligence, Each state will be different regarding its particular driving laws apply. For example, if a driver isn't allowed to turn right at a red light in one form, he might be allowed to make a right turn in a different state. Thus, a person who is a plaintiff in one state where this is not allowed could have a negligence claim, while a person in a form which will enable this may not.

Substantive Criminal Law

The substantive legal Law is concerned with the elements of a case as to whether the subject matter is an offense or not. In the case of every crime committed, certain aspects must be in place to determine whether it is criminal. For instance, the fundamental the Law of criminal procedure will require that for someone to be accused that is a burglary, the following elements are required to be present:

Illegal breaking and breaking and...

Into a building...

In the hope of committing the crime.

If any of these three elements aren't present, the crime is not considered an act of burglary. A jury could find that the suspect is innocent and determine that no criminal act has occurred.

The substantive criminal law differs depending on what state or area where the alleged crime occurred. There aren't any of the same elements that apply to every crime and jurisdiction. The state of California For instance, for someone to be found guilty of assault in the form of California, the prosecutor would need to prove:

The accused robbed the victim in an attempt to cause harm to him.

The victim did not wish to be at all. The accused may have hurt the victim. A reasonable person could be offended by the suspect's touching.

Substantiative Civil Law

Civil Law refers to Civil Law that includes any private wrong or a tort that causes others unfairly to suffer harm or loss that results in legal responsibility for the party responsible for the tort. Substantiative Law defines what constitutes the tort. Substantive Civil Law includes the Law of contract. Law of Contract- defines the essential elements needed to create a contract and real property. In addition, the Indian Succession Act, 1925 addresses Substantive Law regarding testamentary succession for people who are not Muslims and intestate succession with regards to those who are not Hindu and Muslims within India. Other laws that provide for Substantive Civil Law in India include the Indian Contract Act, 1872; Transfer of Property Act, 1882; Specific Relief Act; Indian Trust Act, 1882.

Substantive Criminal Law

The Indian Penal Code (IPC) in India is a code of Law that defines various criminal offenses and provides the elements that must be proven to determine the guilt of someone who committed the crime. It also outlines the punishment for these crimes. For instance, Substantive Criminal Law defines what a crime is, such as 'Murder'", 'Rape "Assault," etc.

What's Procedural Law?

Procedural Laws set the functioning of the court to move the case forward. Procedural laws govern the rules and procedures used by the court.

Procedural Laws form the main element of our legal system because courts' proceedings are executed following the procedural laws. Procedural Laws are enacted following the sentence of substantive Law.

For instance, if the substantive Law requires that the defendant be sued in one particular instance, and the procedural laws specify the procedure and process that the court will follow in granting the suit.

The laws, therefore, vary from case to case in that the procedure the court follows could be different based on the specific facts of the particular case. The system may be other; however, the sentence will be the same as was stipulated under the relevant Law.

The Law can be applied to legal matters only since it defines the court's role following the breach or violation of Law.

Therefore, this Law is below substantive Law in order of superiority since substantive Law defines the violation and the crime as a criminal offense. A court proceeding is made following the substantive laws considered.

Types of Procedural Law

Law of Civil Procedure

Civil Procedural Law consists of the rules and guidelines that courts adhere to when conducting civil trials. These rules regulate how a civil suit or case might be brought, the type of service of process (if there is one) that will be required, and the kinds of pleadings or declarations of cases, motions or requests, and orders that are permitted in civil litigation as well as the time and method of depositions and discovery disclosure and the conduct of trials as well as the process of obtaining a ruling, the different remedies available and how the clerks and courts must operate. Civil actions are concerned with the judicial settlement of disputes between private individuals or groups, corporations, or other organizations against each other. In addition, government (or their agencies or subdivisions) can also be participants in civil lawsuits. The India Code of Civil Procedure 1908 is a consolidation and amendment of the Law governing the procedure of Courts of Civil Judicature.

Law of Criminal Procedure

Criminal Law, Procedure outlines or regulates the procedure by which those who violate a criminal statute are penalized. Procedural Criminal Law can be divided into the adjudicatory and investigatory phases. In the investigation phase, the investigation is primarily comprised of gathering information about the specific facts and details of the incident by police officers and the arrest of the suspect in connection with a crime. The adjudicatory stage begins the time for the trial of the suspect for the crime he is accused of in the Court of Law. The India Criminal Procedure Code defines the procedure for getting the criminal offenses investigated and punished through the Criminal Courts. It also gives specifics of the bail, arrest, investigation, appeals, and jurisdictional and revisions, the compounding of offense about various offenses.

Main differences between Procedural Law and Substantive Law in points

The critical differences between procedural Law as well as substantive Law are explained in the sections listed below:

  • By the term "procedural law," we refer to the Law that defines the procedures, methods, and mechanisms for enforcing obligations and rights. On the other hand, substantive Law is the Law that addresses the issue of the case and outlines the obligations and ownership of all parties involved.
  • The Law of the procedural procedure determines how the appeal or case is heard; the substantive Law governs the actions of the individual or agency.
  • The procedural Law provides the framework for the implementation of Law. Contrary to substantive Law, which sets out the obligations and rights of citizens.
  • The procedural Law can be applied to legal and non-legal aspects. In contrast, substantive Law does not apply to non-legal issues.
  • The Law of the statute governs procedural Law, while the act of the parliament controls substantive Law.
  • Procedural Law concerns the beginning and the prosecution of criminal and civil proceedings. The substantive Law affects the rights and obligations of the parties involved and the punishment of wrongdoers.
  • The procedural Law covers matters in the courtroom, including appeals or the presentation of evidence, representation by counsel and pleading, and reviewing. Contrary to substantive Law, which is concerned with matters that are not within the courtroom, like the fundamental rights and obligations of members of the society.


The legal system evaluates several factors before deciding on the punishment for a crime. Therefore, different laws determine the severity of the offense and the subsequent penalty for the violation.

The substantive laws define these rules for the system of governance and citizens. These are the laws in writing that restrict an offense as an offense. The sentence is based on the crime which has occurred following the Law of substance.

Procedural laws define the court's procedure when it comes to penalizing particular cases. They represent the procedures and procedures that the court follows when giving the proper punishment or penalty for the crime.




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"Difference Between Substantive and Procedural Law." Diffzy.com, 2023. Thu. 23 Mar. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-substantive-and-procedural-law-199>.

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