What is a Private Law Body?

What is a Private Law Body?

Private law bodies, also known as non-state actors or private actors, are entities that play a significant role in legal matters. These entities are not part of the government, and their actions are not governed by public law. Instead, they operate under private law, which is a set of rules and regulations that govern relationships between individuals and organizations.

Private law bodies can include corporations, nonprofit organizations, trade unions, and other similar entities. They have their own internal rules and regulations, which are usually outlined in their bylaws or articles of association. These rules govern how the organization operates, as well as the rights and obligations of its members.

Examples of Private Law Bodies

There are numerous examples of private law bodies, each of which operates in a different capacity. Some of the most common types of private law bodies include:


Corporations are private law bodies that are formed for the purpose of conducting business. They have shareholders who own the company, a board of directors who oversee its operations, and officers who manage day-to-day activities. Corporations can sue and be sued, own property, and enter into contracts, just like individuals.

Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit organizations are private law bodies that are formed for a specific charitable, educational, or social purpose. They are exempt from paying taxes, and their profits are reinvested in the organization’s mission rather than distributed to shareholders. Nonprofit organizations can range from small community groups to large international organizations like the Red Cross.

Trade Unions

Trade unions are private law bodies that are formed to represent workers in collective bargaining negotiations with employers. They advocate for better working conditions, higher wages, and other benefits for their members. Trade unions can also provide legal assistance to members and engage in political lobbying.

Role of Private Law Bodies

Private law bodies play an important role in shaping legal outcomes. They can influence public policy by advocating for changes to the law or regulations that impact their interests. They can also provide an alternative to government-provided services, such as education or healthcare.

Private law bodies also serve as a means of dispute resolution. For example, corporations may use arbitration to resolve disputes with customers or other businesses, rather than going to court. Nonprofit organizations may offer mediation services to help resolve conflicts between individuals or groups.


Private law bodies are a vital component of the legal system. They operate under private law and are not part of the government, yet they play an essential role in shaping legal outcomes. Whether through advocacy, dispute resolution, or providing services, private law bodies offer valuable contributions to society.

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