Wednesday, September 11, 2019

In a number Of crimes (the) function (of criminal law) is simply to Essay

In a number Of crimes (the) function (of criminal law) is simply to enforce a moral principle and nothing else Lord Devlin (19 - Essay Example Over four thousand years ago, prior to Abrahamic times, there is documentary evidence that morals and laws were seen as the same thing and morals and laws were seen to have the backings of the gods (Bottero, 1992). This therefore implies that peoples in prehistoric times derived their moral, religious and ethical authority from the supernatural, in that the rules and systems of these communities were considered to be something that originated from the spirits that backed the society. In modern times, where most people are influenced by the central principles of Judaism, which is the Torah given to Moses, most people believe that the Law is something that was ‘given’ (Hart, 1994). This is because Exodus 19 indicates that God spoke directly to Moses and the Israelite nation at Mount Sinai and gave them the rules and commandments that find its way to Christian, Jewish and Islamic Laws which form the foundations of most legal systems around the world. This therefore indicate s that the evolution of legality is strongly connected to religion and legality. Criminal laws and codes are no exceptions because in most cases, actions are criminalized because they are morally wrong rather than just legally outlawed. Alter et al 2007 indicate that â€Å"criminal conviction consists of two pre-requisites, the actus reus (criminal act) and mens rea (criminal intent)†. In other words, for the law to criminalise an individual, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubts that the accused person had an intention to commit a criminal act and he actually committed the criminal act. However, what is a crime and what is not, is deeply connected to the moral structures of a given society. This paper examines the popular arguments that merge the concepts of legality to morality and also, contrary views that makes them distinct and unconnected disciplines. Origins of Legal Structures â€Å"Law arises as a social technique which co-actively imposes ways of solv ing conflicts, protecting fundamental values for a society’s co-existence.† (Marina, 2000). From prehistoric times, people have always seen the need to live together as social units. First of all, every family has a head which is often a father. As part of his duty, a father is supposed to protect the family and make sure everyone does what is expected of him or her in the family. In more complicated situations, where a number of families lived together in a given social setting, there was the need for all the members to have a leader and other social structures that ensured that people could interact with each other with little friction and disagreements. Leadership and social structures varied widely. Leaders were usually chosen based on the pressing needs at the time. A community could chose a leader based on military yardsticks whilst another could chose a leader based on intellectual or productivity qualities. As pointed out by Bottero (1992), most of these early s ocieties had religious beliefs and systems that linked them to the spiritual realms. Religious and spiritual establishments also had custodians who automatically joined the leadership of the community to regulate and maintain social structures with spiritual guidance and directions. Thus for leaders of a community to regulate the life of members of the community, there is the need for a body of

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