Unit 3 Assignment - Running Head Criminal Justice Systems...

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Running Head: Criminal Justice Systems 1 Comparing Criminal Justice Systems Through History, Culture, and Legal Traditions Janet Lagunas Kaplan University
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Criminal Justice Systems 2 Introduction Various countries around the world have different legal systems and traditions. For the most part, a country may either follow the common, civil, Islamic, or Eastern Asia tradition. However, this is not always the case; since there are countries that may follow more than one. There are different elements that influence a country’s legal system. A legal tradition “refers to deeply rooted and historically conditioned attitude about things such as the nature of law, the role of law in society, how a legal system should be organized and operated, and the way law is or should be made, or applied” (Reichel, 2013). It is important to note that a legal tradition is not pure or untouched because it is influenced by outside factors. These may include: politics, history, and culture. To better understand this concept, it is important to analyze different legal traditions within different countries. France, Canada, and the United States will be analyzed in terms of history, culture, and legal tradition. While each country has different approaches and systems, they also share common outside influences. France France underwent various changes in the creation of their legal system and tradition. The French Declaration of the Rights of Man established the principles fundamental to the law and judiciary; while, the Laws of 16 th and 24 th August 1790 established major principles within the judicial system (Arnaud, 2008). These principles are still operating today. Some of these principles are the separation between two types of courts (administrative and judicial), right of appeal, equality before the law, court proceedings to be administered free of charge, and the introduction of juries (Arnaud, 2008). This is important because it established the foundation of the French legal system. When Napoleon Bonaparte became emperor in 1804, he initiated significant innovations within institutions and law; and France eventually developed “Civil Code
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Criminal Justice Systems 3 (Napoleonic Code), the Code of Civil Procedure, the Commercial Code, the Criminal Investigation Code, and the Criminal Code” (Arnaud, 2008). It is here that France begins to follow the civil tradition. The civil law follows a set of legal codes. France divides their laws into public law and private law (Reichel, 2013). This can be seen in the Code of Criminal Procedure and Penal Code. The first establishes how to investigate a case and try a person who is charged with a criminal offense; while, the second identifies the types of offenses and their corresponding punishment (Reichel, 2013). The Penal Code can be categorized as part of France’s substantive
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