Criminal law

Any community must have a criminal code because it protects the welfare of its citizens. Criminal law focuses on maintaining security and deterring threatening behavior. Understanding and adherence to the different elements of criminal law are essential for any society to function successfully. Because of the case issues, this paper will examine criminal law.

Justification for Legal Position in Actus Reas Case in the Absence of Mens Rea

It is crucial for the creation of a connection between actus reas and mens rea in the modern judicial context. Whether a suspect had the intent to perpetrate a crime is the real question at hand in this discussion. That is, whether he had knowledge that his action would result in crime. As such, whether an individual know if he was committing a crime or not, the result of the act (actus rea) cannot be relied upon solely to determine the case. Accordingly, it is important that there be a union between an act and the guilty mind. From an individualistic perspective, a conviction is not feasible in the instance that there was no intent to commit a wrongful act (Norrie, 2014). Therefore, the individual without a guilty mind should not face unwarranted conviction and prosecution. From the analysis of jurisprudence, in regards to the issue, it is evident that the perpetrator must have the willingness and knowledge that he was committing a crime for criminal liability to hold. In the absence of such willingness or knowledge, criminal liability fails to exist on the suspect's part. Subjecting an individual to prosecution despite being free from any form of moral blame-worthiness is revolting and does not conform to the need of a sense of justice. The focus of such a conviction is in violation to the fundamentals of criminal justice. As such Ashworth & Horder, (2013) emphasizes those crimes that warrant prison sentence should require a full proof evidence of the guilty intentions of the individual. This means that an action is not entirely criminal if the perpetrator did not have ill intentions while undertaking the act. Diplomatic and Legislative Immunity

Legislative immunity applies to legislators in the event that they commit tortious actions in the period of service within the respective country. The emphasis of legislative immunity is to ensure the protection of legislators from liability in a given civil lawsuit for the duties that they undertook as per the office jurisdiction. In reference to Ashworth & Horder, (2013) legislative immunity is also deemed as parliamentary immunity.

Diplomatic immunity as per Kadish, Schulhofer & Barkow, (2016) is imperative for over 15000 Americans operating abroad to ensure protection from political or legal harassment. Not all nations that America operates are friendly to the nation. As such, if the American diplomats were not subject to immunity, there would be the prevalent risk of detention or illegal prosecution based on trumped-up offenses. Most importantly in nations where the US is unpopular, the ever presence of illegal prosecution as a result of the governments bowing to popular pressure is an issue of concern. Diplomatic immunity, therefore, is a safety net for Americans in the distinctive nations in their quest to develop mutually cohesive political, economic or social relations.

Diplomatic immunity, on the other hand, denotes the privileges that are a direct extension from the 1961 convention about Diplomatic relations. Through the convention, there is the exemption of diplomatic individuals from criminal coupled with civil laws of a given host nation. Kadish, Schulhofer & Barkow, (2016) emphasize that the embassy territory coupled with communications and diplomatic people or personal property are deemed inviolable as per the convention. The exemptions determine the terms under which a diplomat may be subject to a given level of criminal or civil penalty.

Standard Sentencing Guidelines in the case of Questionable Competency of a Defendant

The judicial process ought to be fair and practice equity. As such, judges ought to adhere to fairness in their disposition of official duty. This means that it is important to understand that defendants do not have similar capabilities. The sentencing guidelines ought to be flexible in a way that they accommodate the competency of defendants. As such, the courts should not apply standard sentencing guidelines on a defendant whose competency is under question based on two fundamental arguments. First, it is important for the defendant to understand the essence of the judicial process (Norrie, 2014). Understanding the judicial affairs is in regards to having the basic information about the allegations and the punishment to be imposed; if found guilty. Secondly, there is a need for the defendant to understand the legal representatives. As such, the plan of action should be within the level of understanding to mitigate any legal misrepresentation (Ashworth & Horder, 2013). A person ought to comprehend the legal proceedings and the representation plan for action to ensure that innocent individuals are not jailed as a result of misrepresentation.

Objective of Criminal Law

In reference to Kadish, Schulhofer & Barkow, (2016) the main goals of criminal law encompass discouraging people from undertaking criminal behaviour (mitigating crime), defending citizens by settling cases by applying the legal process, penalizing people who have undertaken felony, and rectification of individuals who have done unlawful actions (correctional role). As such, the focus of the criminal law is the sustenance of an environment whereby there is a prohibition of individuals from doing criminal activities through establishing legal standards responsible for formulating the judicial process. Accordingly, in regards to protecting the public and prevention of the conviction of innocent individuals, the establishment of guidelines and repercussions for a criminal process is an effective approach as per the criminal law. Admittedly, authorities such as law enforcement officers are to sustain civil regulations and ensure that the laws are not infringed (Norrie, 2014). Most importantly, as per the law enforcement officers, there is the conformity to the law to ensure that there is no conviction of innocent people in a criminal process. Further, the penitentiaries coupled with disciplinary institutions are set forth in criminal laws to ensure that the people are prevented from threatening people who undertake criminal activities.


From the above analysis, various aspects of the criminal law require in-depth understanding. As such, of utmost importance is the interpretation of the various laws established. For an individual understanding, the aspects of criminal law ensure personal protection from any form of innocent prosecution.


Ashworth, A., & Horder, J. (2013). Principles of Criminal Law. Oxford University Press.

Kadish, S. H., Schulhofer, S. J., & Barkow, R. E. (2016). Criminal Law and its Processes: Cases and Materials. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.

Norrie, A. (2014). Crime, Reason, and History: A Critical Introduction to Criminal Law. Cambridge University Press.

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