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Chapter 1-3

LAWS 2302 Chapter 1-3: LAWS 2302: Criminal law notes LECTURE/CHAPTERS 1-3

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LAWS 2302
Mike Smith

Criminal Law Chapters 13 In conflicttheoretical explanations crime control is portrayed as a process, which is sensitive to the interests and maneuverings of the dominant class and elites. They believe that the state uses criminal punishment as a strategy and mechanism to control a class whose interests potentially are threatening to capitalist structures and elites. This means that the increased use of imprisonment is not a direct response to any rise in crime, but it is a motivated response to the perceived threat of crime posed by a swelling population of economically marginalized persons. One of the standard methods of legitimation is propaganda and political manipulation of names and titles. Examples include the Criminal justice system, Ministry of Justice and Corrections Canada. Others include Your Honor, Right Honorable and Peace Officers. Calling members of Parliament Honorable does not make them so, just as calling a criminal law system a Justice System does not make it just. By calling a certain branch of the state bureaucracy justice, the hope is that most people will accept the name at face value. The legal definition of crime according to Parker contains two elements. One is that the forbidden behavior be subject to penal sanctions. The second element mentioned is that criminal law only deals with human behavior. However, criminal law does not to all humans. Many jurisdictions in Canada exempt youngsters below a certain age from any criminal liability. The legal definition of crime is a positivist definition; it focuses on describing the law accurately and its critical faculty extends only to questioning whether a given criminal law is properly authorized. Positivist definition of Law: A school of Jurisprudence whose advocates believe that the only legitimate sources of law are those written rules, regulations, and principles that have been expressly enacted, or recognized by a governmental entity or political institution, including administrative, executive, legislative, and judicial bodies. Legal positivism attempts to define law by firmly affixing its meaning to written decisions made by governmental bodies that are endowed with the legal power to regulate particular areas of society and human conduct. If a principle, rule, regulation, decision, judgment, or other law is recognized by a duly authorized governmental body or official, then it will qualify as law, according to legal positivists. Conversely, if a behavioral norm is enunciated by anyone or anything other than a duly authorized governmental body or official, the norm will not qualify as law in the minds of legal positivists, no matter how many people are in the habit of following the norm or how many people take action to legitimize it. The only legitimate law is that which is enacted and recognized by the government. If the government recognizes a law then and only then will it be considered a law by positivists. In contrast, ethical definitions import normative aspect and attempt to describe what the criminal law should be. Ethical and legal definitions are readily distinguished: everything
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