Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals’ freedom from infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one’s ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.

A civil lawyer, by definition, is a lawyer who specializes in civil law. This may seem painfully elementary, but given the number of legal specializations, it can be confusing. Criminal lawyers are generally the type of lawyers the public is most familiar with–they are the lawyers commonly portrayed on television and in films. The civil lawyer specializes in arbitrating and representing individuals against one another. If we say criminal law is public law, that is, it deals with individuals versus the penal system, then civil law, by contrast, is private law. It negotiates quarrels between private citizens in noncriminal situations.

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