• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Law
  • Document length: 702 words

Criminal law essay

Extracts from this document...


BEHAVIOUR Criminal law is essentially concerned with the regulation of behaviour. This may involve prohibitions on some kinds of behaviour such as stealing another person's property or harming them deliberately. Some criminal laws may require a specific action, such as having insurance when driving a car, or complying with regulations. In some instances it is the combination of behaviour with a particular situation that defines a crime such as being drunk in a public place. In others it is the combination of status with behaviour such as the purchase of alcohol by someone under 16 years of age. Illegality covers a multitude of actions, responsibilities, circumstances and statuses and hence the diversity of acts that may be characterised as criminal is considerable. ...read more.


These rules may change over time, and the number of potentially illegal acts may increase as new areas and types of behaviour are criminalised. There are two sources of law in England and Wales: legislation and law based on decided cases. Legislation consists of Acts of Parliament (statutes) and statutory instruments (often called subordinate legislation). Case law is law that has been built up over the years by decisions of the courts in individual matters: these may include decisions on the meaning of statutes. The law in England and Wales is thus based on the accumulation of previous cases and is described as a common law system. Although many offences are now governed by, or were created by, statute. The general principles of criminal law are still matters of the common law, which also governs some of the most serious crimes, for example murder. ...read more.


Furthermore, it would be seen as unduly oppressive - as an instrument of social control and political domination. Public tolerance of different activities changes over time and legal categories are subject to change. The law in our society is not based on a fundamentalist or absolutist conception of morality but shifts according to changes in public attitudes. This is reflected in political pressure to change legislation that defines crime. Thus over the last 50 years the way in which the law has dealt with drink driving, homosexuality, prostitution and domestic violence has changed. Changes in the public's tolerance of activities lead to campaigns to criminalise some behaviour and to decriminalise others. For instance, parts of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 aimed to curb the activities of new age travellers and organisers of raves, while lowering from 21 to 18 years the age at which men may lawfully perform homosexual acts in private. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Law essays

  1. Criminal Law (Offences against the person) - revision notes

    Case law of provocation R v Brown (1972) - Brown reasonably mistakes that a gang was about to attack him. He killed one of the 'attackers' with a sword. Provocation plea accepted R v Doughty (1986) - (shows the lowest level of provocation) Doughty could not hear the TV because the baby was crying so she struck the baby and killed it.

  2. The Age Of Criminal Responsibility

    presenting the fact that Wikipedia can be a good site to use in researching a topic. Should Wikipedia be completely forgotten about when researching a topic? I would say no. Wikipedia provides a great base to your research, personally, I always first look to Wikipedia when starting a project to

  1. The criminal process

    Bail is defined as: 'the release by the police, magistrates court or Crown Court of a person held in legal custody while awaiting trial or appealing against a criminal conviction.'3 Bail is defined by section 1 of the Bail Act 1976 (as amended by the Bail Act 1993)

  2. The Inchoate (Incomplete) Offences - Essay Notes

    even though it would not have been possible to go on and commit the actual full offence. McDonough had been convicted of inciting another to handle stolen lamb carcasses. He had believed that the meat in question was in cold store, but in fact it did not exist (and therefore could not have been either stolen or handled).

  1. Should Capital Punishment be enforced

    The bible also requires the death sentence for a wide variety of crimes, including practicing evil sorcery, adultery, homosexual behavior, doing work on Saturday and murder. It even calls for some criminals (e.g. prostitutes who are the daughter of priests)

  2. Property, Liberty, and the Law

    On the other hand, buying up all the patents and placing them on a shelf for twenty years, just so the competition could not use them would be property acting as a sword for the owner.

  1. Discover whether, in the criminal law, negligence ever breaks the chain of causation and ...

    if A and B, independently of each other, shot at P and hit him, simultaneously, in the head and the heart, they would both be held to have caused P's death. The rule that the act must be a sine qua non of the event is only a starting point.

  2. civil law, criminal law and habeas corpus

    Criminological research has shown that official criminal statistics do not accurately measure crime: when members of the public are surveyed, their reports of their own criminal behaviour and of the crimes of which they have been victims indicate far higher levels.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work