What is the purpose of criminal law? This is not a very uncommon question that people in the field of legal study are asked. To answer this question, it is important to know what criminal law is. Criminal Law is the branch of law that deals with defining crime and providing the corresponding penalty or punishment for it. The application of criminal rules is not absolute among all people. There are various circumstances that can mitigate, aggravate, justify or even exempt a person from criminal responsibility.
This aspect of a state’s power may easily be categorized as an instrument of oppression or repression in some way. Ideally, the legal system does not always deal with the retribution of crimes committed by an offender but is mainly designed for the protection of the general welfare and protection of its citizens.
To serve and to protect is basically what the purpose of criminal law is. To elucidate further, the purpose can be considered as two fold. The first purpose is to maintain an orderly society through the expression of a public morality. The second one is to limit the people’s actions to what is moral and acceptable.
As to the first purpose, the expression of public morality is done by means of statutes, ordinances, rules and other laws. It usually describes what the government wants its people to act in furtherance of the welfare of the people. This is done by telling or defining whether or not a particular act is right or wrong depending on the criteria dictated by the respective state’s culture.
The second purpose of criminal law is all about providing the relevant penalties or punishments for such act considered to be wrong by the law. These will present unfavorable consequences when criminal laws are breached by offenders. Such power can be identified as an exercise of the inherent power of the state to protect the welfare of its people and maintain the integrity of its sovereignty. The only limitation to this power is that due process must be properly employed.
In addition, there are more aspects to consider in determining what the purpose of criminal law is. It also entails the protection of the victims of such crimes and also of protecting the rights of an accused. The cold neutrality of an impartial judge is also an integral part of an effective criminal regulation system. While the State may impose these punishments, constitutional and basic human rights as well should be put in consideration.
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What is the Purpose of Criminal Law?
Purpose of Criminal Law