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Crim 131 - w1.docx

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CRIM 131
Barry Cartwright

CRIM 131 – Week 1 Jan 5 - Lecture 1 THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM THE RULE OF LAW - We are expected to obey the law and allow legal system to punish offenders - Legal system must be fair and impartial - Only elected officials get to decide what is against the law - Laws must be written clearly so that people can understand it - Law must be applied equally to everybody - Penalty for breaking the law must be defined in advance THE FUNCTIONS OF CRIMINAL LAW - Maintaining social order - Defining acceptable behaviour - General and specific deterrence (or prevention of crime) POSITIVE LAW - Public law  Criminal law  Constitutional law  Administrative law  Tax law - Private law  Civil law  Divorce law  Contract law  Inheritance law PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LAW - Public law  Government prosecutes case, court decides on behalf of victim what sort of punishment should be imposed - Private/ Civil law  Legal action brought by private person, if action or suit is successful, usual result is financial compensation/ damages STANDARD OF PROOF - Public law  “Beyond a reasonable doubt.” - Private/ Civil law  “Balance of probabilities.” WHAT IS A CRIME? Actus reus = A real event, in which somebody has committed or failed to commit an act Mens rea = Criminal intent, must have the intent to commit the act - No legal defence or justification - Must be contrary to a provision of criminal law WHAT IS CRIME? WHAT IS DEVIANCE? - Crime and deviance are distinct terms, but tend to overlap - Not all deviant acts are criminal - Some criminal may not be seen as deviant CRIME vs. DEVIANCE: THREE MAIN FACTORS 1. Norms 2. Settings 3. Sanctions THE ROLE OF NORMS - Norms have two components – expectations and prescriptions - Expectations are not rules, but rather what we expect people to do - Prescriptions are formal rules laid out by society – they say what you should or should not do - Crimes are violation of formal prescriptions – ex, violations of codified law THE ROLE OF SETTINGS - Settings influence our expectations - Conflict over cultural values (settings) can affect expectations and prescriptions - What is a crime in one country may not be a crime in another country DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS - “Mala in se” = “Natural laws” – acts which most societies and cultures agree are inherently wrong. Bad in itself. - “Mala prohibita” = Criminal acts where there are considerable differences from society to society and where the
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