Criminal Law: Note Set 2
Criminal Law: Note Set 2 CJ 341
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Pamela Crockett on Friday September 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CJ 341 at University of North Dakota taught by Kristi Venhuizen in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views.
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Date Created: 09/16/16
Purpose of Criminal Law Gov’t duty to protect lives and property Protect public peace, order, and safety Preserve public morality Protect public health/natural environment Efficient/honest public administration and admin. of justice Morality/Justice: Preservation of public morality – important function of law Most law is based on collective societal judgment of right/wrong Values that are not widely shared are subject to change Criminal law evolves as society’s standards change o Ex. – blasphemy, not going to church on Sunday, cohabitation… Viewed as wrongs against society, not specific victims o Victim starts action by filing formal complaint w/ police, then becomes witness in prosecution Criminal law is based on the premise that people are responsible for their actions and should be held accountable Criminal vs. Civil Law Civil – provides remedies for private wrongs where the state has less interest Suing people: Breaches of Contract – violation of agreement Torts – wrongful act that violates a legal right of injured party Civil and Criminal can overlap when conduct is criminal and involves a tort. Origins/Sources of Criminal Law: Mala in se – incoherent wrongs (universal) Murder, rape, arson, robbery Mala prohibita – only “wrong” because law says so/contrary to public good Gambling, drugs, etc.… Law in the Western World Code of Hammurabi: Babylonia 2000 BC Draco’s strict code: Athenian city-states in 7 Century BC Very strict rules/penalties call “Draconian” Twelve Tables: Roman law in 5 Century BC Code of Justinian: 6 Century AD codification of Roman law Napoleonic Code: 1804 codification of law in France Roman law system Model of uniform system for West Europe nations Minimal judicial interpretation Common Law: Refers to customs, traditions, judicial decisions, and other materials that guide courts in decision-making but have not been enacted by the legislatures into statutes or embodied in constitutions. o 1066- English law was compilation of local customs after Norman Conquest o New King appointed judges to settle disputes (guided future) o Decisions based on customs/recorded to serve as precedent o Stare decisis – common law doctrine of following precedent Common law = judicial decisions; NOT legal codes (Roman law) 17 Century – emergence of representative gov’t in England Dominance of common law courts diminished o Parliament began adopting statutes that revised (supplemented) common law American Criminal Law: Derived from common law – 1776 States adopted common law to the extent it did not conflict w/ new state and federal constitutions o Louisiana is the only state based on Napoleonic Code o Congress did NOT adopt common law o Passed statutes consistent w/ U.S. Constitution to create federal criminal law Common law was eventually superseded by legislatively defined offenses or statutes o States have the primary responsibility to define crimes/punishments o Local gov’ts adopt ordinances Federal gov’t has more limited role in developing Criminal Law o Congress does not have “police power” (broad auth. To enact prohibitions to protect public). A person can be prosecuted for violating federal and state criminal statutes!
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