Welcome to Criminal Justice Law International. The purpose of this site is to explore issues of importance to Criminal Justice and Law students worldwide while providing tools and resources to enhance their education.
Justice is NOT just an American concept.
Justice, social justice, and criminal justice impact everyone on the planet. As the world becomes more globalized, more interconnected via technology and transportation, a need arises to alter the old ways of approaching criminals and crime control. We hope to be a positive influence on these changes.
It cannot be denied that the American way of seeking justice for criminals is promoted at the highest levels of government worldwide. This is globalization. Globalization started more than a century ago as a means of expanding Western ideals. These include the Western notions of law and justice.
Is this to say that the way the United States seeks justice is the best?
Some would see it as such and in some ways, yes, the system implemented by the Founding Fathers of the United States is considered by most scholars to be one of the best devised. But there is always room for improvement.
We believe that globalization of law and criminal justice can bring the best minds of planet earth together to improve the systems everywhere.
To this end, we take an international view. We consider how globalization is impacting criminal justice and law worldwide. Criminals today operate without borders, but law enforcement must adhere to strict jurisdictional lines. This reality creates an enormous challenge to those tasked with stopping crime. Criminal Justice Law International hopes to provide the tools needed for future leaders to pursue improved globalization of crime prevention.
The Mission of Criminal Justice Law International
The Mission of Criminal Justice Law International is to provide the largest online resource for those seeking a career as Criminal Justice and Law professionals.
The world of today belongs to those studying the ways of law and order today – to those who will lead this rapidly changing world into the future.
We stand at the start of the 21st Century, but now is the time to begin thinking about the world of the 22nd Century. The changes of the last century rapidly altered the course of human history and justice; the next century will do so even quicker and more drastically. Exciting times lay ahead for those who will lead the creation of law and the exercise of criminal justice. Our mission is to be a positive part of that.
To help, we have an ever-growing section dedicated to Careers in Criminal Justice and Law, whether someone seeks field work, support work, or intellectual pursuits. In the Careers Section, readers will also find a listing of Universities in the United States which offer Criminal Justice and Law curriculums and we have plans to expand that to global resources. We are actively seeking pages from every college or university so be sure to let someone at yours know — we would love to provide them a page to showcase their degree programs here.
About the Criminal Justice System
Any criminal justice system is based on law. Law cannot be separated from criminal justice. Law is the foundation for crime – if no law exists, no crime is committed.
For this reason, core to Criminal Justice Law International is the study of crime. In the Crime Section of this website readers will find a growing body of information related to the study of global, national, state, and local crime. We are adding crime data, charts, and graphs designed to help students of criminal justice create better presentations and enhance research efforts. There are essays, criminal studies, and a section devoted to organized crime.
Legal systems from one country to the next differ. However, regardless of the system all have some common elements. Furthermore, the vast array of legal systems can be condensed into three. These are:
Some may take exception to condensing legal systems around the world into these three, but the reason we do so at Criminal Justice Law International is because doing so helps people find common ground. Only by finding common ground can the nations of the world unite and forge the bonds needed to fight criminal organizations which are not limited by borders. A brief explanation is provided here. To learn more, read Global Assessment: How Does the World View Crime and Justice?
Civil Law Codes
Civil law codes are those codified into law by some ruling body. Civil law codes are the most common legal systems worldwide, but are often used in conjunction with other forms of law.
Common law is any set of laws which are founded on traditions. These could consist of legal precedent as with English Common Law or local traditions, tribal laws, or customs. These laws change and adapt over time as society changes, which makes them the most malleable of the legal systems used worldwide.
Religious law is any law provided through the teachings of a religion. Examples are Canon Law (Catholic), Talmudic Law (Jewish), and Islamic Law (Muslim). Rather than segregate legal systems which adhere to some degree to some specific religion, is it better to recognize that the system is a form of religious law. This allows nations applying such laws to see what they hold in common rather than focus on how they differ.
Elements of Criminal Justice Systems Worldwide
Just as legal systems around the world differ, criminal justice systems differ from nation to nation. Still, there are some common elements of every criminal justice system. It is these common elements which will enable future leaders to globalize justice. Briefly, these are:
- The Rule of Law
- The Enforcement of Law
- The Judging of Law
- The Execution of Law
Consider now each of these elements.
The Rule of Law
The rule of law is developed by the rulers of a nation. The Rule of Law is the way governing parties maintain control over the people and the state. Rule of law is supported and in some instances directed by the people of a country. Rule of law can consist of three methods:
Commands are needed as situations not already addressed by law dictate. In the United States, these are accomplished by Executive Orders and direct memos by the President.
Principles of the Rule of Law are ideally laid out in a Constitution, which many nations of the world have adopted. A Constitution spells out the guiding ideals for the nation and sets limits to the laws to be established. Regardless, every society has principles, or values which guide the citizens. Ideally, these are commonly agreed upon and published for all to see. Whether this is the case or not, if a nation is divided by principle, no amount of law and no commands will keep it from experiencing civil strife.
Laws are those methods which are adopted by law-makers to specifically address situations commonly facing the nation, region, or locality. These may be codified (written), held by tradition (common law), or dictated by a religion. Most important to a law is that it adhere to the guiding principles of a society. If they do not, social unrest will ensue and the potential for revolution is always present.
To further expand an understanding of how law relates to criminal justice, visit the Law Section.
The Enforcement of Law
The enforcement of law falls to police, the military, or whatever law enforcement organization the ruling parties deem necessary. Every nation, regardless of the legal system, the system of rule, or the economic system has someone to enforce laws.
At Criminal Justice Law International, we spend much of our resources examining best practices for law enforcement. Many of our readers are planning such careers and will face challenges tomorrow which cannot be seen today. To this end, we believe that by providing the most balanced and vigorous debates possible are needed.
To learn more, visit the Enforcement section. In that section readers will find a complete list of police agencies in America, law enforcement histories, a special section on police professionalism, and more. Eventually, we plan to have a listing of every law enforcement entity in the world – we are currently adding pages for each department and prefer to have the department listed provide their own page including recruitment info and links.
The Judging of Law
Tied to the creation of law is the judicial system. Every nation has someone who decides the guilt or innocence of a law-breaker. The judiciary in some countries plays a dual role in law. In every location, judges hear cases and render verdicts. This is the traditional role of a judge. However, in locations with the English Common Law model in place, judges also judge the law. In doing so, they set precedent. If precedent is not challenged in a higher court or not successfully challenged and the legislative body does not pass contrary laws, the precedent takes on the weight of law.
To learn more about the judiciary, visit the Law Section of this website. In this section, students of law will find essays related to Future Court Issues, Rights, and more. We have a section for the Courts and another listing every Federal Public Defenders office in the United States. We plan to add similar pages for each nation.
The Execution of Law
After a judge has ruled on a case, the defendant is either released or remanded to serve a sentence. The sentence could be probation, prison, or execution. Every nation uses some form of executioner of law. In the United States, it is the Correctional System. In other counties, it could simply be an executioner. No matter the exact means, those found guilty of violations of law are punished in some way by someone. This is rightly termed the execution of the law.
To learn more about the execution of law, visit the Corrections Section. Visitors to this section will find listings of every U.S. Federal and State Prison, histories and essays, corrections technology, and a special section on prison life we hope to fill with information provided by incarcerated individuals. Plans include: listings of prisons worldwide, data related to global incarceration, and more.
Globalization, Criminal Justice, Law, and Nations
As the world moves towards globalization, criminal justice organizations and law-makers are going to have to understand the common ground that ties one nation to another. Only by finding common ground will the nations of the world transcend national and local politics to blend jurisdictions. Only with blended jurisdictions, by creating justice systems capable of taking justice to the criminals regardless of location, can the nations deliver justice worldwide. Jurisdictions create invisible lines which law enforcement cannot cross; crime continues to grow because criminal organizations ignore borders.
The limits of criminal justice organizations to pursue criminal groups across national boundaries helps these groups grow. The growth of international crime syndicates causes a reduction of justice to those who are law-abiding. Boundaries are permitting anarchy to take hold and anarchy cannot result in justice; only oppression by the forceful.
Students of criminal justice and law need to take a simplified look at the economic and governmental systems around the world. Common ground as it relates to law and the cause of justice can be found, but only by taking a simpler, more direct route to understanding one another.
Globalization and its effect on criminal justice and legal systems is considered in the Philosophy Section of this website. In that section we also discuss governance, leadership, human behavior, communication, and other topics which indirectly impact the criminal justice professional or practicing attorney.
Criminal Justice Law International…Because Global Justice Doesn’t Just Happen
For justice to flourish, it must be provided with the proper nutrients. Just as a plant needs food, water, sunlight, pruning, and other attention, justice must be tended to regularly. Students of today are those who will tomorrow tend to the garden of justice.
Weeds grow fine in an anarchy. Useful plants need a controlled environment including rich soil and careful attention. Justice is not a weed. Rather, it is more like a bonsai. It must be pruned, watered, and cared for. It must be tended to, shaped, and given the right direction. If handled right, justice is beautiful, just like a bonsai.
Left untreated, justice is ugly, like a diseased tree left to the ravages of nature.
Yet, justice is not a U.S. thing, not a UK think, not a Russian thing, not a Chinese thing, not a Nigerian thing, not a…you get the point. Justice is something which impacts the entire world. As the world becomes more interconnected, injustice in one place rapidly causes injustice in another.
One nation ignores the efforts by organized crime groups to traffic people through their lands causing the coffers of the group to increase. They are then able to increase their efforts causing increasing pain and misery to millions.
Some politician ignores certain container shipments through their ports. Years later, local fisheries are suffering because the shipments were toxic chemicals dumped off the coast in violation of international law.
One nation engages in a drug war. It strong-arms other nations to join. People who have been growing and processing plants in their lands for thousands of years face prison and death for trying to support their families. Who is right? Which nation is acting justly?
Issues Impacting Criminal Justice and Law
There are no shortages of issues which must be dealt with internationally if criminal justice and law are to be globally effective. Justice is the handling of these issues in a way that is both best for all involved and acceptable to people everywhere. Justice is ensuring that people everywhere are treated fairly and rightly. Justice is making sure equal rights and access to economic prosperity is provided globally for all.
In the Issues Section of this website we present discussions of problems facing criminal justice and legal professionals. Some are issues in the U.S. Some are issues elsewhere. All are issues which must be effectively handled if criminal justice is to become globalized.
Global Justice does not Just Happen. It takes effort. It takes work. It takes caring. It takes Criminal Justice Law International. Won’t you join us?