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What Is Criminal Law and Its Objectives According to criminal law, when offenses are committed that are detrimental to the society, these are labelled as crimes. As far as common law jurisdiction, when crimes disturb the peace of the sovereign, a legal implication is involved. The sovereign are represented by government officials as the agents, and it is their responsibility to prosecute offenders. Under criminal law, the plaintiff refers to, in practical terms, as the monarch or the people. Unlike in civil law when the objective is individual compensation, the major objective of criminal law is deterrence and punishment. A criminal offence has two particular elements and these are the physical act or the actus reur or guilty act and the requisite mental state of which the act is done or mens rea or guilty mind. Let us take for example a murder case, it is the unlawful killing of a person that is the element of actus reus, and the intention to kill or cause grievous injury is the element of mens rea. The criminal law specifies the punishment that will be put on the concern person, and it also would require the defendants to detail their defences so that their criminal responsibility will be lessen or negated. It is not the nature of the criminal law to require a victim or a victim’s consent to prosecute the offender. Be aware that there is criminal prosecution over objections of the victim, and nor will the consent of the victim becomes a defence in crimes. There are two fields that a criminal law would play in most jurisdictions of both common and civil law traditions. One is that to address the violations of criminal law, what regulates the process is the criminal procedure. The second is the definition of and punishments of the various crimes which the substantive criminal law will detail out.
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Crimes from civil wrongs such as tort or breach of contract are distinguished under criminal law. The criminal law therefore is a system that regulates the behaviour of individuals and groups in relation to societal norms as a whole, while civil law is directed primarily at the relationship between private individuals and their rights and obligations under the law. In the past, ancient legal system did not really have a distinction between civil and criminal law, but there later on modified in the late nineteenth century. The English common criminal law of 1750 has become the basic course in criminal law in most U.S. law schools.
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Arrests and searches, drug crimes, juvenile law, drunk driving, parole, probation, pardons, violent crimes, white collar crimes and military law are among the many types of criminal laws. The other term for criminal law is penal law, a term used to refer to various rule bodies in distinct jurisdictions.