Civil law is law based on a series of written codes or laws.
Civil law is a legal system based on Roman law, in which there is a code of law in which the state follows and uses to determine court cases. This is opposed to common law in where judges' decisions on court cases can be used as precedent in other cases to create new law. Civil law is also referred to as "ius civile", which is Latin for civil law.
Civil law developed in Rome, Germany and France, while common law developed in England. Only the State of Louisiana and Puerto Rico use civil law in the United States; the remainder uses common law.