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LAWS 2301 (138)

Desiree Hayward

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LAWS 2301
Saunders- Carleton University

September 17 2012 LAWS2301A Criminal Law Substantive Lecture One General Introduction to context, meanings, and purposes to criminal law: -Mechanisms of control -Legal mechanisms of control -Criminal legal system -Definitions of crime/criminal law HOW DO WE REGULATE BAD BEHAVIOUR? -How do we choose what needs to be regulated and in which ways? -LEGAL REGULATION: control strategies, intervention strategies  leads to CRIMINAL LEGAL REGULATION Q: How do we go from legal regulation (societal problems) to criminal legal regulation (when it becomes a crime?) This involves issues of legal definitions, ethical definitions, and contractual definitions Q: What are the boundaries to crime? How do we set boundaries? --- And after setting them, how do we restrain criminal law? (Criminal law should be the last choice to regulating behavior) *Basic principle of the rule of law: We must know what the law is VICTIMS In recent years, victims have been pushed to the periphery of the legal system: The CJS has developed to rule every crime (in criminal law) as treating the state as the victim ACCUSED The upwards movement of plea-bargaining: People believe they are bargaining for better treatment and as such not receiving the treatment they need MEDIA Portrays ignorance around the CJS: Shows only the sensational crimes, the violent crimes- making people believe there is more violence than there is in crime Therefore, the aim of the course is to deconstruct the law Quinney; “What is important in the study of crime is everything that happens before the crime occurs. The question of what precedes crime is far more significant to our understanding than the act of crime itself. Crime is the reflection of something larger and deeper.” How do we understand crime? SOCIAL FACTORS: - Sometimes considered the most important factors - Quinney says to understand crime we need to look somewhere other than the law - Quinney views law as an after thought - Poor family structures - Poor communities - Economic deprivation - Presence/ absence of community and family support } All are causes of crime - education NOTE: crime rates have not necessarily dropped; the larger generation is simply aging and less active in crime Last 2 years: 2 million violations have been reported- yet only 37% of people report crimes – What does this say about our criminal justice system? -By labeling an action as being a crime (marijuana, prostitution) we make those people involved criminals - Labeling also applies from the victim’s side; By not reporting a crime of sexual assault we are allowing that person to not be labeled as a criminal One key aspect to the formation of criminal laws is CHOICE: We, or the government we elect chooses what to criminalize On a social level, society chooses what to make a bad behavior and socially condemn (nose picking) CHOICES= RESPONSES Every choice, or act committed renders a reaction. Anything from an act of physical abuses to a civil wrong or tort (private law) renders a different reaction from an individual. Hence the choice to criminally or civilly pursue that wrong act through the legal system or whatever system is in place (principle in school) or do nothing Responses; -Criminal law -Retaliation -Going to higher power (seeing the university about a wrong committed against you) - Inaction Social factors also shape the will to commit a crime: More accurate to say that one does not commit a crime such as murder because they know it is wrong, rather than because it is against the law (morality) Therefore, since there are so many other factors influencing crime and criminals, we cannot say that the law is the main influence in d
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