What is criminal intent : Criminal Justice Systems around the World - The Red Carpet


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Friday, September 30, 2022

What is criminal intent : Criminal Justice Systems around the World


What is criminal intent? How do criminal justice systems vary around the world?

Criminal intent is defined as a person's resolve or determination to commit a crime. In general, the definition of a criminal offence encompasses not only the act or omission and its consequences, but also the actor's mental state. Most crimes require an element of criminal intent in all criminal systems. However, only Anglo-American systems use the term mens rea. Countries such as France and Japan simply state that there must be criminal intent unless otherwise directed by a specific statute. There are three types of criminal intent:

(1) general intent, which is implied by the act of commission (for example, speeding);

(2) specific intent, which necessitates forethought and predisposition (for example, burglary); and

(3) constructive intent, the unintended consequences of an act

"Mens rea" is a Latin term used to describe the criminal intent that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction in a criminal case. In every criminal case, certain actions or conduct must be shown to have occurred, and in many cases, some form of criminal intent must also be proven. Despite the obvious importance of defining the mental element correctly, criminal statutes are frequently silent on what kind of mens rea, if any, must be demonstrated. In other cases, a wide range of terms are used with no clear indication of how they should be interpreted. The American Law Institute's Model Penal Code's preliminary draught reduces the mens rea terms to four: Criminals must act "purposefully," which means they must have an actual, consciously formed intent to achieve the criminal consequence; "knowingly," which means they must be conscious of the fact that their conduct will produce the consequence; "recklessly," which means they must be conscious of the fact that their conduct is creating an unreasonable peril; and "negligently," which means inadvertence to peril that would have been obvious to a reasonable person.

In modern times, a large body of penal offences have been created in all countries that require no intent or other mental state to be demonstrated. Absence of mens rea has always characterised a few offences, such as statutory rape, in which knowledge that the victim is under the age of consent is not required for liability, and bigamy, which can be committed even if the parties believe in good faith that they are free to marry. Mens rea is not required in a number of statutes governing economic or other activities, commonly referred to as public welfare offences with minor penalties.

In such cases, the elimination of proof of criminal intent is usually justified on the basis of expediency. Some argue that requiring proof of intent or even recklessness would render some of these regulatory statutes ineffective or unenforceable. Tobacco, alcohol, dangerous drugs, automobile traffic, and firearms laws would be rendered ineffective if anyone who violated them could claim ignorance of the law. In Australia, however, defendants can now defeat a charge by demonstrating that they were not negligent in failing to follow the law. Supporters of that viewpoint argue that little is lost in terms of effectiveness.

Another factor to consider when deciding whether or not to waive the requirement of mens rea is ignorance or error. Ignorance of fact, it is commonly said, excuses from liability, whereas ignorance of law does not. Although this simple formula applies to most areas of criminal law, there are important exceptions, particularly in the case of absolute liability offences. In such cases, a legal error is increasingly being allowed as a defence, particularly under harsh penalty statutes. Certain types of diminished responsibility, such as intoxication, infancy, or insanity, are allowed in all criminal systems. Every country has a specific age at which youths can be held accountable for the consequences of their actions. Intoxication is commonly held not to be a defence to a crime unless it negates the existence of a specific mental state. Thus, in Anglo- American law, people who commit murder while intoxicated are convicted of manslaughter rather than murder if it is determined that they were unable to entertain the "malice aforethought" required for a murder conviction.

The criminal justice system is a hierarchical organisation made up of various elements that work together or independently to achieve a common goal. These organisations make laws that tell us what behaviour is prohibited and impose penalties for engaging in illegal behaviour. Such laws require courts to rule on guilt or innocence, and rehabilitation subsystems to sanction or attempt to rehabilitate prisoners. These are:

1. Legislative actions: As a result, the process of our criminal justice system begins with legislative actions. The legislature, on the other hand, does not constitute an organisational part of the system other than to emphasise that the foundation of the entire system is based on the laws they make, and their abuses must be regulated or reduced.

2. Law enforcement: The next component of the criminal justice system is the police or law enforcement subsystems. The police are tasked with maintaining peace, law, and order, deterring crime, and apprehending violators of the law. The majority of criminal justice systems are unable to carry out their responsibilities in the absence of a law enforcement subsystem. Legislators may pass thousands of pieces of legislation, but the law can be broken with impunity if the police refuse to act. Police, as the primary law enforcement body, should focus not only on the efforts of enforcing various rules, but also on their free execution.

3. Adjudication: It is a judicial procedure that is further subdivided into two parts. i.e.

(i) Prosecution: The prosecutor determines how a suspected violator will be prosecuted by the judicial subsystem. When the prosecutor determines that the case is serious, formal charges will be filed. Nonetheless, he lacks the ability to intervene.

(ii) Court: In the criminal justice system, the role of the courts is more critical and important than that of the police. The Court's primary mission is to provide justice that is "fair, equal, quick, and unbiased." To maintain public trust in the judicial system, judges must carry out their responsibilities with great care and diligence. The chairman must keep in mind that his decision in the case will give the accused and victim a positive image of justice or unfairness, regardless of whether the accused was acquitted or convicted lawfully or wrongfully. The first requirement for justice is a judiciary that is independent, impartial, and competent. It must be understood that a wrongful acquittal is both a breach of justice and a violation of the law.

4. Correctional agency: Correctional facilities are the final critical component of the criminal justice system. The correctional subsystem attempts to rehabilitate the offender in order to prevent him or her from breaking the law again. It is hoped that by punishing the perpetrator, many people will be deterred from breaking the law. There are two main options in the correctional system: probation and imprisonment, both of which have certain restrictions on one's rights. Rehabilitation facilities, which include corrections, facilities, and other rehabilitative programmes such as courts, juvenile court, and correctional homes, should be viewed not simply as correctional agencies or correctional agents, but as a measure of their success in the criminal justice system.

There are many different types of criminal justice systems around the world that work to keep and maintain order and peace within their jurisdiction by enforcing a social code of conduct known as the law. The criminal justice system attempts to deter individuals from disrupting this peace and order by imposing the concept of punishment on the individual, forcing the individual to obey the law. These punishments are either punitive or rehabilitative in nature. By doing so, the criminal justice system gains some control over society through policing. Policing is an important part of the criminal justice system because it is the first step in criminal proceedings, followed by investigation, judgement, and, if applicable, punishment.

For example, In England and Wales, criminal justice is an adversarial system in which a magistrate or jury hears two opposing viewpoints on a case. The defence and prosecution parties are free to present their cases in any way they see fit, including calling and questioning witnesses as they see fit, subject to the limitations imposed by the law. Unlike the systems in England and Wales, the Japanese system employs a semi-inquisitorial scheme in which a judge is present during the preparation of evidence with the police and has a say in how different parties present their case in court. The judge questions the witnesses, and the defendant and prosecution parties can only ask additional questions through the judge.

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