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Chapter 1

SOC 1500 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Actus Reus, Insider Trading, Public Law

Course Code
SOC 1500
Michelle Dumas

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Chapter 1:
Objectivist-legalistic Approach:
Referred to as a “Value consensus.”
Understands the definition of crime to be factual and precise.
Defines crime by legal statute as “something that is against the law.”
In Canada; what is contained in The Criminal Code of Canada.
Criminologists should study “rule-breakers.”
Primary Question:
“What are the causes of criminal behaviour?”
Extra-Legal Behaviour: Actions that are not against the law, but do cause harm:
Lawyers who do not represent their client’s best interest.
Some forms of insider trading.
Physician’s malpractices that damage patients.
Theories of Criminal Behaviour:
Social Consensus: People only break the law because they lack self-control.
Crime and crime control are considered objective phenomena.
Types of Law:
Administrative Law: Public law that governs the relationships between individuals and the state
by regulating the actions and operations of governments and governmental agencies.
Civil Law: Concerned with private relations between individuals; property disputes, wills, and
Criminal Law: Concerned with the punishment of those who commit crimes.
Criminal Code Violations:
Crimes Against the Person: Homicide and sexual assault.
Property Crimes: Theft over $5,000 and breaking and entering.
Wrong Offences: Using illegal drugs and Prostitution.
To be Found Guilty:
Actus Reus: Physically committed an evil act.
Mens Rea: An intentional and conscious evil mind. Have to be over 12 and sane.
Deviance: Acts that differ and are labelled different from the social majority.
Crime is considered socially constructed.
Social Reaction Approach: Concerned with how the self-identity and behavior of individuals may be
determined or influenced by the terms used to describe or classify them.
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