Criminal law involves the study of the law and its scope of application over time. It defines behaviour that is contrary to public order and determines the criminal sanctions applicable to it.
The term "criminal" refers to offences whose perpetrators may be punished by a penalty expressly provided for by law. Criminal law thus comprises all the rules applicable to offences such as murder, theft, fraud, traffic offences, drug offences, etc.
It is often opposed to civil law, which deals with the relationship between two legal or natural persons. Swiss criminal law distinguishes between penalties and measures.
From a legal perspective, criminal law is frequently divided into two main areas.
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