There are different types of laws that the government of any country or state would develop in order to create order, justice and peace in its society. One of these laws is criminal law and this is what we will describe here briefly. Criminal law is the law that describes crimes as offenses against order in society. In the jurisdictions of this common law, it is based on the legal fiction that crimes disturb the peace of the sovereign. The people responsible for the prosecution of offenders in the criminal law are government officials as being agents of the sovereign or its people. This means that the sovereign is the plaintiff of criminal law and in its practical term relates to the monarch or the people.
Compared to another law like civil law with a goal of individual compensation, the major objective of criminal law is deterrence and punishment. There are two distinct elements of criminal offenses, and these are the actus reus or guilty act or the physical act, and the other element is the requisite mental state with which the act is done termed as mens rea or guilty mind. To demonstrate, the unlawful killing of an individual or murder is the actus reus while the intention to kill or cause serious injury is the mens rea or malice aforethought. In criminal law, defendants have to make details of their defences that may lessen or negate their criminal responsibilities or liabilities, and from there, the law would specify the punishment to be inflicted or given. Neither a victim or the victim’s consent is required to prosecute an offender, and further, the consent of the victim is not a defense in a crime, and a criminal prosecution can happen over the victim’s objections. Get more info here.
In the common and civil law traditions, the criminal law is divided into two areas. One is that the criminal procedure, in order to address violations of criminal law, would regulate the process. And the other area is the substantive criminal law which would details the definition of and punishments for the various crimes committed.
Criminal law separates crimes from tort or breach of contract which are civil wrongs. This is because of the premise that criminal law is viewed as the system that regulates the behaviour of groups or individuals to the norms of society. This is different from civil law which aimed mainly at the relationship between private individuals and defined rights and obligations of these individuals or groups. In the past, there was no clear definition or distinction between these two laws until in the late nineteenth century. To learn more about these legal facts, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrongful_death_claim.