We explain to you what public law is and the branches of study that compose it. In addition, its difference with private law and examples.
What is the public right?
A part of the legal systems whose norms related to public power and its relations with individuals, organizations and with itself is known as a public right, provided that This is exercised as a representation of the interests of the State.
In other words, it is the branch of positive law that orders the relations of subordination and supra-ordination between the State (represented by the Public Administration) and individuals, as well as between the different bodies that make up the Public Power.
Together with private law, it makes up the branch of positive law, that is, that which is contained in written legislation (Constitution, Law, etc.) and in agreement and acceptance by the community in which it governs.
Therefore, public law is also part of the legal system constructed by societies to govern their own functioning, and to which all of them choose to submit.
Public law can vary greatly according to the nation that governs, but in general it is governed by two guiding principles:
- Principle of legality . It states that all actions of the public authorities must necessarily be registered in the current legal order, that is, they must have legal certainty, in accordance with their jurisdiction and nature. That is to say: the State cannot violate the laws.
- Principle of empire . It establishes that any relationship between the State and individuals is exercised from a situation of inequality in which the former has dominion ( imperium ) so that he will be exercising public authority. That is to say: the State is the authority.
See also: Legal Person.
Branches of public law
The branches of public law are usually the following:
- Constitutional law . That branch that concerns the interpretation of the legal texts of the Constitution and other written systems that are fundamental in the construction of the State.
- Administrative Law That which regulates the public administration and modulates the functioning and relations between the various agencies that make up the State.
- Public international law It concerns the relations between the different nation-states of the planet: their joint plans, their agreements and economic exchanges, their border disputes, etc.
- Criminal law. It has to do with the punitive capacity of the State, that is, its capacity to punish those who violate the law and to exert coercion on citizens among those who prevail.
- Procedural law. It regulates the mechanisms and procedures of the State in relation to the way in which it exercises its power, guaranteeing minimum rights and providing them at all times.
- Labor law. That branch linked to the legal framework that regulates work to guarantee their dignity, legality and fair remuneration, as well as the rights and duties of workers, employers, unions, etc.
- Financial law. It regulates the processes of public expenditure, to guarantee transparency and good behavior of the State in its use of public funds.
- Tax Law. The one that has to do with taxes, tributes and other forms of tax collection, which the State uses to finance itself.
- Electoral law. It is responsible for regulating the procedures of succession of power and replacement of rulers at all levels, in any of the public powers.
Difference between public and private law
The difference between public and private law dates back to the ancient years of Roman Law, when the need to discern between legal matters related to private individuals (Private Law) and those which I attached was imposed in the Res P plica, that is, the cosa public of the State (Public Law).
Both branches are distinguished, therefore, in their scope of action : when dealing with matters that involve individuals or even the State acting as one of them (commercial operations, successions, private property, etc.) we will speak under private law; When it comes to the State and the rules of coexistence and the social pact (public order, public funds, operation of the State, etc.) we will talk about public law.
More in: Private Law
Public Law Examples
The examples of public law are simple and abundant:
- The conviction of a criminal who was captured by the security organs (criminal law) and tried by an appropriate court (procedural law).
- The interpretation of what is established in the National Constitution (constitutional law) to determine whether or not to proceed correctly in presidential elections (electoral law).
- The review of international sovereignty treaties to mediate in a third country in conflict (public international law).
- Defend a worker whose rights have been violated (labor law).