Legal contracts and disputes often come with a language of their own that can be hard to understand for someone unfamiliar with legal terminology. “Legalese” can be helpful as shorthand when lawyers communicate with each other, but some terms are incomprehensible to the layman.
One such term that may have caused you confusion is material law. While you may be familiar with criminal or civil law, material law means something different. In this context, “material” means something different from its concrete uses in everyday conversation.
This article is a basic primer about material law. The FAQ section has a more in depth guide and includes everything that you need to know about material law and how it may affect you.
Material Law and Contracts
Material law is a type of law practice that primarily has to do with contracts. For example, before signing a complex legal contract, a person may hire a lawyer to help them make sense of the agreement and advocate for them in this situation. A lawyer representing a person to assist them in signing a contract they may not have agreed to without legal representation is said to be practicing material law.
Material law also has another connotation when it comes to contracts. For example, suppose one party who agreed can reasonably claim that the promised benefits were never delivered or not delivered promptly. In that case, that is a material breach of contract.
While a minor breach of contract is usually negligible, a material breach often comes with more severe consequences. Plaintiffs can argue in court that the violation of the agreement cost them money or caused material damage to their finances. In the case of a material breach of contract, both parties can hire lawyers to argue about injuries resulting from the breach.
Laws Governing Materials
In some legal contexts, “material law” refers to any law that governs materials. These are partially defined by statute as “dredge material, solid waste, incinerator residue,” and so on. In this case, material law refers to the statutes and laws that govern the storage and disposal of materials that are usually hazardous.
Material law is very important for the continued health of our planet and the people who live on it. These laws aim to regulate the usage of dangerous materials to prevent pollution that damages the environment and causes material damage and health problems for people nearby. Companies found to violate material law may be charged with hefty fines.
Other Uses of “Material” in a Legal Context
The word “material” is important in most legal contexts, although its meaning is slightly different from what you may encounter in your everyday life.
Sometimes, the material is used interchangeably with evidence. In that case, material law can refer to any object, fact, or statement that can serve as evidence in a court of law. In other situations, material evidence is a phrase used to separate relevant evidence from information that is only tangentially related to a case and that the jury can disregard.
In other cases, the phrase “material” can refer to the importance of discussing a matter. For example, a material fact is relevant to the rest of the trial that must be decided on before the court can proceed.
As mentioned above, “material” is also used to determine the importance of a violation or a breach of contract. Often, a plaintiff may need to prove that the defendant caused material damage or harm that had a tangible effect on their finances and property for a case to continue.
In the legal world, the word “material” can have many different meanings. It can refer to the relative importance of a fact, piece of evidence, or damage that a plaintiff is claiming. Material law can refer to establishing what is a material fact before proceeding with a legal procedure. In environmental law, material law relates to the rules around the disposal of hazardous materials and its effect on surrounding populations.
Most commonly, material law refers to contract law. In that context, a lawyer specializing in material law can represent clients when they enter into a contract or pursue damages for a material breach of contract.
Material Law is a term used in the legal profession to describe the law regulating tangible or physical items. It covers a wide range of legal areas, including contract law, property law, and tort law.
There are three main types of Material Law: contract law, property law, and tort law. Contract law governs the formation and enforcement of contracts, while property law deals with property acquisition, use, and disposal. Tort law governs civil wrongs, such as personal injuries, and provides a means of redress for those who have suffered loss or damage.
The purpose of Material Law is to ensure that transactions between individuals are fair and that people are compensated for any losses they suffer. It also helps to ensure that property is used and disposed of in a way that does not infringe on the rights of others.
The fundamental principles of Material Law include the rule of law, the need for certainty, the principle of freedom, and proportionality. The rule of law requires that all individuals be treated equally before the law, while the principle of certainty ensures that people can predict the outcome of legal proceedings. The principle of freedom guarantees that individuals can make their own choices, subject to lawful restrictions. Finally, the principle of proportionality requires that any interference with an individual’s rights be proportionate to the aim sought to be achieved.
Material Law is a branch of civil law, while Common Law is a branch of English law. Material Law is based on the principle of stare decisis, which requires that previous court decisions be followed. In contrast, Common Law is based on the case law principle, which requires that individual cases be decided on their own merits.
Material Law is based on the principle of stare decisis, while statutory law is based on parliamentary sovereignty. Consequently, statutory law is made by Parliament, while The courts make material Law.
Material Law is based on the principle of certainty, while equity is based on fairness. Equity is a branch of English law that was developed to remedy where the common law was unable to do so.
Material Law is based on territoriality, while international law is based on the principle of universality. Territoriality requires that legal rules be confined to the territory they operate, while universality requires that legal regulations apply to all countries.
Material Law is based on the principle of consent, while private law is based on the principle of contract. In addition, material Law regulates the relationships between individuals, while private law regulates the relationships between individuals and businesses.
Criminal law is based on punishment and retribution. Material law is based on legislative (parliamentary) sovereignty. The principle of retribution ensures that criminals are punished for their crimes and acts as a deterrent. Parliamentary sovereignty ensures that the will of the people’s representatives is supreme. Criminal law deals with offenses against the state, while Material Law deals with civil wrongs. Criminal law is enforced by the state, while The courts enforce material Law.
Contract law is based on the principle of freedom of contract, while Material Law is based on good faith and consent. Freedom of contract means that parties are free to make whatever contractual agreements they wish, while good faith means that contracts must be honored in good faith. Contract law is enforced by the courts, while the courts and the police enforce material Law.
Property law is based on the principle of possession, while Material Law is based on use and disposal. Property law regulates the relationships between individuals and businesses concerning tangible objects. In contrast, Material Law governs the relationships between individuals concerning all forms of property, tangible and intangible. Property law is enforced by the courts, while The courts and the police enforce material Law.
Trust law is based on the principle of fiduciary duty, while Material Law is based on good faith. Trust law regulates the relationships between individuals concerning trusts, while Material Law regulates the relationships between individuals and businesses concerning contracts. Trust law is enforced by the courts, while The courts and the police enforce material Law.
Constitutional law is based on the principle of the rule of law, while Material Law is based on parliamentary sovereignty. Constitutional law regulates the relationships between the state and its citizens, while Material Law regulates the relationships between individuals and the state. Constitutional law is enforced by the courts, while The courts and the police enforce material Law.
EU law is based on mutual recognition, while Material Law is based on the principle of territoriality. Mutual recognition requires that legal rules be recognized by all EU member states, while territoriality requires that legal rules be confined to the territory within which they operate. Furthermore, EU law is enforced by the European Court of Justice, while The courts and the police enforce material Law.
Islamic law is based on the principle of sharia, while Material Law is based on parliamentary sovereignty. Sharia is based on the religious precepts of Islam, while parliamentary sovereignty is based on the principle that the will of Parliament is supreme. Islamic law is enforced by religious authorities, while The courts and the police enforce material Law.
Common law is based on the principle of precedent, while Material Law is based on parliamentary sovereignty. Precedent means that a court is obliged to follow the decisions of higher courts, while parliamentary sovereignty means that the will of Parliament is supreme. Common law is enforced by the courts, while The courts and the police enforce material Law.
Civil law is based on the principle of codification, while Material Law is based on parliamentary sovereignty. Codification means that all legal rules are set out in a single code, while parliamentary sovereignty means that the will of Parliament is supreme. In addition, civil law is enforced by the courts, while The courts and the police enforce material Law.