Criminal law

The term criminal law, sometimes called penal law, refers to one of various bodies of rules in different jurisdictions whose common characteristic is the possible for unique & frequently strict impositions as penalty for failure to fulfill.

Criminal punishment, depending on the offense and jurisdiction, may include implementation, loss of liberty, government supervision (parole or probation), or fines. There are some archetypal crimes, like murder, but the acts that are prohibited are not wholly consistent among different criminal codes, and even within a particular code lines may be blurred as civil infractions may give rise also to criminal penalty. Criminal law naturally is enforced by the government, unlike the civil law, which may be enforced by private parties.


The first civilizations usually did not differentiate between civil law & criminal law. The first written codes of law were produced by the Sumerians. Around 2100-2050 BC Ur-Nammu, the Neo-Sumerian king of Ur, enacted the oldest written legal code whose text has been discovered: the Code of Ur-Nammu although an earlier code of Urukagina of Lagash is also known to have existed. Another important early code was the Code Hammurabi, which formed the core of Babylonian law. These early legal codes did not separate penal and civil laws.

The similarly significant Commentaries of Gaius on the Twelve Tables also conflated the civil and criminal aspects, treating theft or furtum as a tort. Assault and violent robbery were analogized to trespass as to property. Breach of such laws created an obligation of law or vinculum juris discharged by payment of monetary compensation or damages.

The first signs of the modern distinction between crimes and civil matters emerged during the Norman Invasion of England. The special notion of criminal penus, at least concerning Europe, arose in Spanish Late Scolasticism (see Alfonso de Castro), when the theological notion of God's penalty (poena aeterna) that was inflicted solely for a dirty mind, became transfused into canon law first and, finally, to secular criminal law. The development of the state dispensing justice in a court clearly emerged in the eighteenth century when European countries began maintaining police services. From this point, criminal law had formalized the mechanisms for enforcement, which allowed for its growth as a discernible entity.

Objectives of Criminal Law

Criminal law is distinctive for the exclusively serious potential consequences or for failure to abide by its rules. Every crime is composed of may be imposed in some jurisdictions for the most serious crimes. Physical or may be imposed such as or although these punishments are prohibited in much of the world. Individuals may be in a variety of conditions depending on the jurisdiction. Imprisonment may be solitary. Length of incarceration may vary from a day to life. Government supervision may be imposed, including house arrest, and convicts may be required to conform to particularized guidelines as part of a parole or probation regimen. also may be imposed, seizing money or property from a person convicted of a crime.

Five objectives are widely accepted for enforcement of the criminal law by punishments: retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation and compensation. Jurisdictions differ on the value to be placed on each.

Retribution - Criminals ought to suffer in some way. This is the most widely seen goal. Criminals have taken improper advantage, or inflicted unfair detriment, upon others and consequently, the criminal law will put criminals at some unpleasant disadvantage to "balance the scales." People submit to the law to receive the right not to be murdered and if people contravene these laws, they surrender the rights granted to them by the law. Thus, one who murders may be murdered himself. A related theory includes the idea of "righting the balance."

* Deterrence - Individual deterrence is aimed toward the specific offender. The aim is to impose a sufficient penalty to discourage the offender from criminal behavior. General deterrence aims at society at large. By imposing a penalty on those who commit offenses, other individuals are discouraged from committing those offenses.
* Incapacitation - Designed simply to keep criminals away from society so that the public is protected from their misconduct. This is often achieved through prison sentences today. The death penalty or banishment have served the same purpose.
* Rehabilitation - Aims at transforming an offender into a valuable member of society. Its primary goal is to prevent further offense by convincing the offender that their conduct was wrong.
* Restitution - This is a victim-oriented theory of punishment. The goal is to repair, through state authority, any hurt inflicted on the victim by the offender. For example, one who embezzles will be required to repay the amount improperly acquired. Restitution is commonly combined with other main goals of criminal justice and is closely related to concepts in the civil law.

Criminal law jurisdictions

Public international law deals extensively and increasingly with criminal conduct, that is heinous and ghastly enough to affect entire societies and regions. The formative source of modern international criminal law was the Nuremberg trials following the Second World War in which the leaders of Nazism were prosecuted for their part in genocide and atrocities across Europe. The Nuremberg trials marked the beginning of criminal fault for individuals, where individuals acting on behalf of a government can be tried for violations of international law without the benefit of sovereign immunity. In 1998 an International criminal court was established in the Rome Statute.

International criminal law

International criminal law is an independent branch of law which deals with international crimes and the courts & tribunals set up to umpire cases in which persons have incurred international criminal liability. It represents a significant departure from 'classical' international law which was mainly considered law created by states for the advantage of states, but tended to ignore the individual as a subject of the law.


Some presidents in international criminal law can be establish in the time before the First World War. However, it was only after the war that a really international criminal tribunal was envisaged to attempt perpetrators of crimes committed in this period. Thus, the Treaty of Versailles stated that an international tribunal was to be set up to try Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. In the event however, the Kaiser was granted asylum in the Netherlands. After the Second World War, the Allied powers set up an international tribunal to try not only war crimes, but crimes against humanity committed under the Nazi regime. The Nuremberg Tribunal held its first session on 20 November 1945 and pronounced judgments on 30 September / 1 October 1946. A similar tribunal was established for Japanese war crimes (The International Military Tribunal for the Far East). It operated from 1946 to 1948.

After the beginning of the war in Bosnia, the United Nations Security Council established the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 1993 and, after the genocide in Rwanda, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1994. The International Law Commission had commenced preparatory work for the establishment of a permanent International Criminal Court in 1993; in 1998, at a political Conference in Rome, the Rome Statute establishing the ICC was signed. The ICC issued its first arrest warrants in 2005.

Institutions of international criminal law

Today, the most important institution is the International Criminal Court (ICC), as well as several ad hoc tribunals:

* the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
* the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Apart from these institutions, some 'hybrid' courts and tribunals exist - judicial bodies in which both international and national judges are represented. They are:

* the Special Court for Sierra Leone, (investigating the crimes committed the Sierra Leone Civil War),
* the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, (investigating the crimes of the Red Khmer era),
* the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, (investigating the assassination of Rafik Hariri),
* the war crimes court at Kosovo
Tags - criminal law - law and order criminal intent, cases, orlando attorney, florida law firm, jackson, chicago, alabama, louisiana, minnesota, az, memphis, michigan, missouri, miami, birmingham, georgia, minneapolis, california, dallas, houston, illinois, nevada, detroit, procedure, ellicott city, advice, lawyer

Reference -

Links - Orlando criminal lawyer

User Rating: / 0