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The Role of Criminal Law in Our Society

According to criminal law, when offenses are committed that are detrimental to the society, these are labelled as crimes. As far as common law jurisdiction, when crimes disturb the peace of the sovereign, a legal implication is involved. The sovereign are represented by government officials as the agents, and it is their responsibility to prosecute offenders. Thus, the word plaintiff under criminal law is the sovereign or translated into the people.

Deterrence and punishment are the major objectives of criminal law, while civil law is individual compensation. A criminal offence has two particular elements and these are the physical act or the actus reur or guilty act and the requisite mental state of which the act is done or mens rea or guilty mind. In a murder case for example, the actus reus is the unlawful killing of a person while it is the intention to kill or cause grievous injury as the mens rea. In order to lessen or negate the criminal liability of the person who committed the offence, the criminal law would detail the defences of the defendants and this will determine the degree of the criminal liability of the person concern. Criminal will not require a victim or a victim’s consent in order to prosecute the offender. Be aware that there is criminal prosecution over objections of the victim, and nor will the consent of the victim becomes a defence in crimes.

There are two fields that a criminal law would play in most jurisdictions of both common and civil law traditions. First is that the criminal procedure would regulate the process in order to address the violations of criminal law. The second is the definition of and punishments of the various crimes which the substantive criminal law will detail out.
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Crimes from civil wrongs such as tort or breach of contract are distinguished under criminal law. While civil law has the objective of primarily directing relationships between groups and individuals and their obligations and rights under the law, criminal law is viewed as a system of regulating individuals and groups in relation to the whole society. It was not until the late nineteenth century that the legal systems in the past underwent a definition between civil and criminal law. In many U.S. law schools, the English common criminal law of 1750 is the basic course in criminal law.
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The different kinds of criminal law are arrests and searches, drug crimes, juvenile law, drunk driving, parole, probation, pardons, violent crimes, white collar crimes and military law.

Note that criminal law is also known as penal law which is a term used to address to the different rule bodies in certain jurisdictions.