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Criminal law in UK

Center of discussion in this paper is criminal law, a branch of law that deals with crimes committed against the public authority. Criminal code covers the crimes punishable by criminal law while procedural law deals with the prosecution process and the recommendations for punishments and sentencing under the criminal law. Historically, the three broad categories of crimes covered by the criminal law included felonies, treason and misdemeanors. Criminal code has being extended to cover new forms of crime like organized crime, terrorism and money laundering which have been occasioned by the convergence of global economies and changes in both the global political and social structure. Several legal scholars have identified numerous salient features which distinguish criminal law from civil and commercial law. Criminal law has been identified as a worthwhile in achieving a certain level of societal morality as well as an efficient mechanism of responding to wrongful acts. Criminal law mainly is legislated around the harm principle and the public order rather than private wrongs. Several aspects of criminal law whether from the crime committed point of view or the prosecution procedure are able to distinguish criminal law from other types of law from both non-legal perspective and legal perspective. Crimes punishable under the criminal law are based on the actus resus that simply means a bad act and mens rea which simply is the bad mental state of an individual. Criminal law is irrelevant when other laws exist to punish the crime like the tort liability laws or when in the act of committing the crime there was no immoral intent like in the strict liability crimes that are punishable by other laws4. Purpose of criminal law Generally, the main purpose of criminal law is to regulate the behavior of the citizens of a particular country. Criminal law seeks to punish individuals who go against the limits and boundaries of societal morals through legal action against the offenders5. Criminal law includes statutory laws that are legislated by the federal, State or local governments and case laws also refereed as common laws and which exist from one generation to the other. Criminal law is also aimed at protecting the offender. The victims of the crime will usually desire some revenge hence they will have methods of preventing such harms to them in the future6. Usually, the law takes in to consideration their genuine concerns about the possibility of future injury to them from the same source. Historically, before many nations established organized judicial systems, the avenge of the injury or harm was left to the victim or other powerful persons who could protect the injured hence in modern economies and societies, the state has the duty to protect the offender from revenge as well as bring justice to the victim and protect the injured from any possible future harm from the same source7. Criminal law has a restoration function. In some criminal justice system, the position of the victim is usually considered during the trial hence the defendant may be required to pay fines as well as serve a period of time in prison or community service8. Every country has to have a justice system which is ideal to prohibit criminal acts which violate the public interests hence one of the purpose of the criminal law is deterrence of criminal acts through the punishments contained in the criminal code. The most effective mechanism to achieve deterrence is immediate punishment for offenders who are found guilty of criminal acts after the legal action9. Criminal law also can create general deterrence which many legal scholars have pointed out as a cost-benefit way of deterring people from creating crimes. General deterrence may require the population to be educated hence the public must be aware of what is criminal like parking in prohibited places or driving while drunk hence the principle of malum prohibito should be applied. According to malum in se, the public are deemed to