Tort law, also known as the law of tort(s), is a body of civil law which enables individuals to seek redress for civil wrongs (known in this context as torts) in common law systems. (The equivalent in civil law systems is delict.)
The most common torts are for negligence, defamation, nuisance (private, and public), trespass (to land, and to the person) and breach of statutory duty. Breaching a contract is not considered a tort.
Tort law stands in contrast with criminal law, where crimes are punished by the state. Torts are not crimes, and defendants who are found liable will not be sent to prison.
The word ‘tort’ ultimately derives from the Latin word tortum, meaning ‘twisted’.