Criminal Justice System

Criminal Justice System




The American justice system has undergone tremendous changes that have been geared towards improving its response to crime and disorder. Key changes have been framed within the national law and guided by the constitution as seen in the penalties applied. The reflection of the national law and rules set at state level has created a system that is derived from the need to counter the urgent needs in crime prevention or deterrence. The main difference between the two systems is that in common law countries, case law in the form of published judicial opinions is of primary importance, whereas in civil law systems, codified statutes predominate. In fact, many countries use a mix of features from common and civil law systems.

Common law has proven effective when dealing with some form of crime and maintaining law and order. In the U.S, the application of common and civil law has been practiced and showed considerable good results in shaping order and stability (Harry & Jay, 2013). Common law as a link between morals and civil law is applied in courts when the judge needs to weigh out the sequence of events that may have led to a crime. The various aspects of criminal justice and law application derive a common setting when applying both common and civil law. Another difference is that common law abides by the legal justifications and a set of statutes while civil law is documented and remains unchanged for a long time (Harry & Jay, 2013). The legal application of these two sets of laws depends on the mater at hand as well as the codified statutes within the legal framework of a region.

The U.S. criminal justice system could be improved by adopting the civil law tradition because it would open up to the introduction of statues that would strengthen the court processes and crime deterrence. One way to improve this is by incorporating the statues that define moral and legal entities of the law within a given area (Harry & Jay, 2013). The U.S. criminal justice system can therefore be improved by enacting the right statues within the legal framework as defined under the civil law tradition.


Harry, D & Jay, A. (2013). Comparative Criminal Justice Systems. Fifth Edition. been