Global Assessment: How does the World View Crime and Justice?

black Image of scales on white background with the words, "calibrate the scales" overlaid. As with any set of scales, the scales of justice must, from time to time, be recalibrated. Total balance is never achieved, but all in the criminal justice and legal systems must strive for it as much as possible.

Globalization is a force that is largely promoted by Western nations. Thus, any global assessment of crime and justice requires an examination first of the legal systems in each nation, then the cultures of each location, and the general attitude of the people towards the United States and European powers.

Notions of crime and justice vastly differ from nation to nation largely because virtually no two governments use the same legal structure. Even within academia, depending on who you ask, there can be anywhere from two to two dozen different types of law. With so much confusion about law and legal systems just among scholars, is there any wonder efforts to globalize face enormous difficulties?

Still, globalization is continuing. Most experts agree that setbacks in 2016 and 2017 with populist candidates taking national elections will do nothing to slow globalization.

However, to create a truly global community, those in charge of creating laws will need to come to some form of consensus about how best to do so. Those in charge of enforcing laws will need to find creative ways to merge jurisdictions while not offending local populations. And local populations will either accept or oppose the new global reality…an issue which world leaders will have to address by finding a way to navigate the legal landscapes as they exist and as the will need to exist if globalization is to become a force for good on planet earth.

Therefore, in starting these Global Assessments, we consider first How the World Views Crime and Justice from the perspective of currently established Law Codes.

To this end, we seek first to establish as simple a method for describing law codes around the world as is reasonable. The goal is to develop a tool by which students of criminal justice around the world may assess the impact of globalization on justice, both social and governmental.

A very simplistic division is to say there are three types of law by which crime and justice may be served. These are:

  • Common Law
  • Codified (or Civil) Law
  • Theocratic or Religious Law

Yet another source would divide law by:

  • Common Law
  • Civil Law
  • Customary Law
  • Islamic Law

Wikipedia provides one of the most expansive descriptions of the types of law around the world:

  • Common Law
  • Civil Law
  • Religious Law
  • Pleuralistic
  • Hybrid
  • Canon
  • Sharia
Map of the countries with anglosaxon legal sys...
Map of the countries with anglosaxon legal systems (in red) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first list seems not to recognize that there are law systems which rely on legal systems very different from Western society. The second list adds Customary Law, which is really another way of stating what is termed in Western language, Common Law. In addition, the second list uses the term Islamic Law, ignoring altogether the fact that other religions have had and continue to have legal systems not described otherwise.

Upon careful examination, hybrid law systems are similar to pleuralistic except that the former use far more elements of the initial three; the latter using combinations of two forms of law. In addition, both Canon and Sharia Law hold to religious underpinnings, so these could rightfully be included with Religious Law.

Types of Law to be Used for this Project

For the purposes of this project, CriminalJusticeLaw.org will use the simplest form possible while incorporating all forms which may exist worldwide. These are:

  • Common Law – Includes Customary law, which is what common law really is.
  • Civil Law – sometimes called codified law, though really, any law structure can be codified. Instead, Civil law is that which has been adopted by representatives rather than custom.
  • Religious Law – Includes Islamic Law, Canon (Catholic) Law, Talmudic (Jewish) Law, or any other law influenced by a religion.
  • Hybrid (or Mixed) Law (combining two or all three)

One final note: Some may claim that Socialist Law should be added to the list but the reality is that Socialist Law, distinctive though it may be, is simply another form of Civil or Codified Law. Thus, a socialist nation will be listed as having Civil Law.

A Brief Explanation of this Project

A map of legal systems of the world, in french...
A map of legal systems of the world, in french. Source (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The following list of nations is presented by the English name, the local name (if different from English), the location of the nation or territory, and the type or types of law in use to determine justice.

We will be adding more detailed pages related to each location worldwide as these are available. The goal is to develop a complete assessment of the view of crime and justice in each land so that students may readily draw comparisons and contrasts.

Our plan is to continually expand each page to include information related to crime statistics for each land, governing agencies, social organizations involved in distributing social justice, and more.

We welcome the input of readers, especially those who would like to help create the page for their country. If you would like to contribute to this project, please take a moment to complete the simple form at the bottom of this page. Thank you.

  1. Afghanistan/Afghanestan: Located in South-Central Asia – Hybrid (combining Common (or Customary Law), Civil Code, and Religious (Islamic) Law.
  2. Akrotiri: Located in Southern Europe (South of Cyprus) – Common and Civil Law
  3. Albania/Shqiperia: Located in Southern Europe – Civil Law mainly, with some remote areas also applying customary (Common) law.
  4. Algeria/Al Jaza’ir: Located in Northern Africa – Civil and Religious (Islamic) Law
  5. American Samoa: Located in Oceania – Common Law (mix of U.S. and local customary)
  6. Andorra: Located in Southern Europe – Civil and Common Law (though Catholic Canon law yields limited influence)
  7. Angola: Located in Central Africa – Civil Law
  8. Anguilla: Located in the Caribbean – Common Law
  9. Antigua and Barbuda: Located in the Caribbean – Common Law
  10. Argentina: Located in Southern South America – Civil Law
  11. Armenia/Hayastan: Located in Western Asia – Civil Law
  12. Aruba: Located in the Caribbean – Civil Law
  13. Australia: Located in Oceania – Common Law
  14. Austria/Österreich: Located in Western Europe – Civil Law
  15. Azerbaijan/Azarbaycan: Located in Western Asia – Civil Law
  16. Bahamas: Located in the Caribbean – Common Law
  17. Bahrain/Al Bahrayn: Located in the Middle East – Mixed Religious (Islamic), Civil, and Common (English and local customary)
  18. Bangladesh: Located in South-Central Asia – Common and Religious (Islamic) Law
  19. Barbados: Located in the Caribbean – Common Law
  20. Belarus/Byelarus: Located in Eastern Europe – Civil Law
  21. Belgium/Belgique: Located in Western Europe – Civil Law
  22. Belize: Located in Central America – Common Law
  23. Benin: Located in West Africa – Civil Law
  24. Bermuda: Located in North America – Common Law
  25. Bhutan: Located in South-Central Asia – Religious-based Civil Law (Buddhism)
  26. Bolivia: Located in South America – Civil Law
  27. Bosnia and Herzegovina/Bosna i Hercegovina: Located in Southern Europe – Civil Law
  28. Botswana: Located in Southern Africa – Civil Law derived from Common law
  29. Brazil/Brasil: Located in South America – Civil Law
  30. Brunei Darussalam/Negara Brunei Darussalam: Located in Southeast Asia –
  31. Bulgaria: Located in Eastern Europe
  32. Burkina Faso: Located in West Africa
  33. Burundi: Located in Eastern Africa
  34. Cambodia/Kampuchea: Located in South-East Asia
  35. Cameroon: Located in Central Africa
  36. Canada: Located in North America
  37. Cape Verde/Cabo Verde : Located in West Africa
  38. Cayman Islands: Located in Caribbean
  39. Central African Republic/Republique Centrafricaine: Located in Central Africa
  40. Chad/Tchad: Located in Central Africa
  41. Chile: Located in South America
  42. China/Zhong Guo: Located in Eastern Asia
  43. Christmas Island: Located in Southeast Asia
  44. Cocos (Keeling) Islands: Located in South-East Asia
  45. Colombia: Located in South America
  46. Comoros/Comores: Located in Eastern Africa
  47. Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa)/République Démocratique du Congo: Located in Central Africa
  48. Congo, Republic of (Brazzaville)/République du Congo: Located in Central Africa
  49. Cook Islands: Located in Polynesia, Oceania
  50. Costa Rica: Located in Central America
  51. Ivory Coast/Cote d’Ivoire: Located in West Africa
  52. Croatia/Hrvatska: Located in Southern Europe
  53. Cuba: Located in Caribbean
  54. Cyprus/Kibris or Kypros: Located in Mediterranean – Common and Civil Law
  55. Czech Republic/Ceska Republika : Located in Eastern Europe
  56. Denmark/Danmark: Located in Northern Europe
  57. Dhekelia: Located in Southern Europe – Common and Civil Law
  58. Djibouti : Located in Eastern Africa
  59. Dominica: Located in Caribbean
  60. Dominican Republic/Dominicana, Republica: Located in Caribbean
  61. East Timor (Timor-Leste)/Timor: Located in South-East Asia
  62. Ecuador: Located in South America
  63. Egypt/Misr: Located in Northern Africa
  64. El Salvador: Located in Central America
  65. Equatorial Guinea/Guinea Ecuatorial: Located in Central Africa
  66. Eritrea/Hagere Ertra: Located in Eastern Africa
  67. Estonia/Eesti Vabariik: Located in Northern Europe
  68. Ethiopia/Ityop’iya: Located in Eastern Africa
  69. Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas: Located in Southern South America
  70. Faroe Islands/Foroyar: Located in Northern Europe
  71. Fiji: Located in Melanesia, Oceania
  72. Finland/Suomen Tasavalta: Located in Northern Europe
  73. France: Located in Western Europe
  74. French Guiana/Guyane: Located in Northern South America
  75. French Polynesia/Polynésie Française: Located in Polynesia, Oceania
  76. Gabon: Located in Central Africa
  77. Gambia /The Gambia: Located in West Africa
  78. Georgia /Sak’art’velo: Located in Western Asia
  79. Germany/Deutschland: Located in Western Europe
  80. Ghana: Located in West Africa
  81. Gibraltar: Located in Southern Europe
  82. Great Britain: Located in Northern Europe
  83. Greece/Ellas or Ellada: Located in Southern Europe
  84. Greenland/Kalaallit Nunaat: Located in North America
  85. Grenada: Located in Caribbean
  86. Guadeloupe: Located in Caribbean
  87. Guam: Located in Micronesia, Oceania
  88. Guatemala: Located in Central America
  89. Guinea/Guinee: Located in West Africa
  90. Guinea-Bissau/Guine-Bissau: Located in West Africa
  91. Guyana: Located in Northern South America
  92. Haiti: Located in Caribbean
  93. Honduras: Located in Central America
  94. Hong Kong/Xianggang: Located in Eastern Asia
  95. Hungary/Magyarorszag: Located in Eastern Europe
  96. Iceland/Lyoveldio Island : Located in Northern Europe
  97. India/Bharat: Located in South-Central Asia
  98. Indonesia: Located in South-East Asia
  99. Iran (Islamic Republic of) : Located in South-Central Asia
  100. Iraq: Located in Middle East
  101. Ireland/Éire: Located in Northern Europe
  102. Israel/Yisra’el: Located in Middle East
  103. Italy/Italia: Located in Southern Europe
  104. Jamaica : Located in Caribbean
  105. Japan/Nippon: Located in Eastern Asia
  106. Jordan/Al Urdun: Located in Middle East
  107. Kazakhstan/Qazaqstan: Located in Central Asia
  108. Kenya: Located in Eastern Africa
  109. Kiribati/Kiribas: Located in Micronesia, Oceania
  110. Korea, Democratic People’s Rep. (North Korea)/Choson: Located in Eastern Asia
  111. Korea, Republic of (South Korea)/Han-guk: Located in Eastern Asia
  112. Kosovo/Kosova ou Kosovë/Косово: Located in Southern Europe
  113. Kuwait/Al Kuwayt: Located in Middle East
  114. Kyrgyzstan/Kyrgyz Respublikasy: Located in Central Asia
  115. Laos, People’s Democratic Republic/Laos: Located in South-East Asia
  116. Latvia/Latvija: Located in Northern Europe
  117. Lebanon/Lubnan: Located in Middle East
  118. Lesotho : Located in Southern Africa
  119. Liberia: Located in West Africa
  120. Libya/Libiyah: Located in Northern Africa
  121. Liechtenstein: Located in Western Europe
  122. Lithuania/Lietuva: Located in Northern Europe
  123. Luxembourg/Letzebuerg: Located in Western Europe
  124. Macau/Aomen: Located in Eastern Asia
  125. Macedonia, Rep. of/Makedonija: Located in Southern Europe
  126. Madagascar: Located in Eastern Africa
  127. Malawi: Located in Eastern Africa
  128. Malaysia: Located in Southeast Asia
  129. Maldives/Dhivehi Raajje: Located in South-Central Asia
  130. Mali: Located in West Africa
  131. Malta: Located in Southern Europe
  132. Marshall Islands: Located in Micronesia, Oceania
  133. Martinique: Located in Caribbean
  134. Mauritania/Muritaniyah: Located in West Africa
  135. Mauritius: Located in Eastern Africa
  136. Mayotte: Located in Eastern Africa
  137. Mexico/Estados Unidos Mexicanos: Located in North America
  138. Micronesia, Federal States of/Micronesia: Located in Micronesia, Oceania
  139. Moldova, Republic of/Moldova: Located in Eastern Europe
  140. Monaco: Located in Southern Europe
  141. Mongolia/Mongol Uls: Located in Eastern Asia
  142. Montenegro/Crna Gora: Located in Southern Europe
  143. Montserrat: Located in Caribbean
  144. Morocco/Al Maghrib: Located in Northern Africa
  145. Mozambique/Mocambique: Located in Eastern Africa
  146. Myanmar, Burma/Myanma Naingngandaw: Located in Southeast Asia
  147. Namibia: Located in Southern Africa
  148. Nauru: Located in Micronesia, Oceania
  149. Nepal: Located in South-Central Asia
  150. Netherlands/Nederland/Holland: Located in Western Europe
  151. Netherlands Antilles/Nederlandse Antillen: Located in Caribbean
  152. New Caledonia/Nouvelle-Calédonie: Located in Melanesia, Oceania
  153. New Zealand/Aotearoa: Located in Oceania
  154. Nicaragua: Located in Central America
  155. Niger: Located in West Africa
  156. Nigeria: Located in West Africa
  157. Niue: Located in Polynesia, Oceania
  158. Northern Mariana Islands: Located in Micronesia, Oceania
  159. Norway/Norge: Located in Northern Europe
  160. Oman/Saltanat Uman: Located in Middle East
  161. Pakistan: Located in South-Central Asia
  162. Palau/Belau: Located in Micronesia, Oceania
  163. Palestinian territories/Filastin: Located in Middle East
  164. Panama: Located in Central America
  165. Papua New Guinea/Papua Niu Gini: Located in Melanesia, Oceania
  166. Paraguay: Located in Central South America
  167. Peru: Located in Western South America
  168. Philippines/Pilipinas: Located in Southeast Asia
  169. Pitcairn Island: Located in Polynesia, Oceania
  170. Poland/Polska: Located in Eastern Europe
  171. Portugal: Located in Southern Europe
  172. Puerto Rico: Located in Caribbean
  173. Qatar/Dawlat Qatar: Located in Middle East
  174. Reunion Island/Ile de la Réunion: Located in Eastern Africa
  175. Romania: Located in Eastern Europe
  176. Russian Federation/Rossiya: Located in Eastern Europe – Northern Asia
  177. Rwanda : Located in Eastern Africa
  178. Saint Kitts and Nevis: Located in Caribbean
  179. Saint Lucia: Located in Caribbean
  180. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Located in Caribbean
  181. Samoa: Located in Polynesia, Oceania
  182. San Marino: Located in Southern Europe/Italy
  183. Sao Tome and Principe/Sao Tome e Principe: Located in Central Africa
  184. Saudi Arabia/Al Arabiyah as Suudiyah: Located in Middle East
  185. Senegal: Located in West Africa
  186. Serbia/Srbija: Located in Southern Europe
  187. Seychelles: Located in Eastern Africa
  188. Sierra Leone: Located in West Africa
  189. Singapore: Located in Southeast Asia
  190. Slovakia (Slovak Republic)/Slovensko: Located in Eastern Europe
  191. Slovenia/Slovenija: Located in Southern Europe
  192. Solomon Islands: Located in Melanesia, Oceania
  193. Somalia : Located in Eastern Africa
  194. South Africa: Located in Southern Africa
  195. South Sudan: Located in East-Central Africa
  196. Spain/España: Located in Southern Europe
  197. Sri Lanka: Located in South-Central Asia
  198. Sudan: Located in Northern Africa
  199. Suriname: Located in North-Eastern South America
  200. Swaziland: Located in Southern Africa
  201. Sweden /Sverige: Located in Northern Europe
  202. Switzerland/Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera: Located in Western Europe
  203. Syria, Syrian Arab Republic/Suriyah: Located in Middle East
  204. Taiwan (Republic of China)/T’ai-wan: Located in Eastern Asia
  205. Tajikistan/Jumhurii Tojikiston: Located in Central Asia
  206. Tanzania; officially the United Republic of Tanzania/Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania: Located in Eastern Africa
  207. Thailand/Prathet Thai: Located in South-East Asia
  208. Tibet/Bod: Located in South-Central Asia
  209. Togo/Republique Togolaise: Located in West Africa
  210. Tokelau : Located in Oceania
  211. Tonga: Located in Polynesia, Oceania
  212. Trinidad and Tobago: Located in Northern South America, Caribbean
  213. Tunisia/Tunis: Located in Northern Africa
  214. Turkey/Turkiye: Located in Southeastern Europe
  215. Turkmenistan: Located in Central Asia
  216. Turks and Caicos Islands : Located in Caribbean
  217. Tuvalu: Located in Polynesia, Oceania
  218. Uganda: Located in Eastern Africa
  219. Ukraine /Ukrayina: Located in Eastern Europe
  220. United Arab Emirates/Al Imarat al Arabiyah al Muttahidah: Located in Middle East
  221. United Kingdom: Located in Northern Europe
  222. United States: Located in North America
  223. Uruguay/Republica Oriental del Uruguay: Located in Central East South America
  224. Uzbekistan/Uzbekiston Respublikasi: Located in Central Asia
  225. Vanuatu: Located in Melanesia, Oceania
  226. Vatican City State (Holy See)/Status Civitatis Vaticanæ: Located in Southern Europe/Italy/Rome
  227. Venezuela: Located in Northern South America
  228. Vietnam/Viet Nam: Located in South-East Asia
  229. Virgin Islands (British): Located in Caribbean
  230. Virgin Islands (U.S.) : Located in Caribbean
  231. Wallis and Futuna Islands/Wallis et Futuna: Located in Polynesia, Oceania
  232. Western Sahara /Aṣ-Ṣaḥrā’ al-Gharbīyah: Located in Northern Africa
  233. Yemen/Al Yaman: Located in Middle East
  234. Zambia: Located in Eastern Africa
  235. Zimbabwe: Located in Eastern Africa

Want to Contribute a page about your country? Please complete use the form below.

Criminal Justice Law Seeks article submissions.

Our mission is to help improve the criminal justice and law system. We believe that vigorous debate is the best way to improve the system. We further believe that opposing views stimulate discussion and lead to progress.

For this reason, we welcome all views.

We know that many of our readers are enrolled in Criminal Justice and Law programs, are recent graduates, or are entering a University program soon. If you have essays from college you would like to add to this site, we would love to include them. 

We Are Especially Seeking Pages from Police Agencies

One goal is to complete the Police Agencies Listings pages. There are nearly 20,000 police organizations in the United States. We are trying to develop a single resource for law enforcement students so would really appreciate it if police departments could complete the page for their organization. 

Once the page is complete, it can be uploaded in .doc format. Feel free to use either the standard word processor and include images and links in the document where you want them to appear. Alternately, create the doc in html and we will add it to the site unaltered.

Thank you for your help.

To add content, simply complete the following form. 

Thanks and we look forward to reading your views.

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