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Comparative criminal justice - Assignment Example

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The German penal code is influenced by the concepts of Prussian law. It Criminal justice system is derived from the civil war, not common law such as the one used in the U.S. and Britain. According to German civil law, the…
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Comparative criminal justice
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Comparative Criminal Justice In Germany law has been codified and is mostly federal. The German penal is influenced by the concepts of Prussian law. It Criminal justice system is derived from the civil war, not common law such as the one used in the U.S. and Britain. According to German civil law, the concepts behind its criminal justice system are not aimed at simply isolating criminals from the society, but rehabilitating them (Fairchild and Dammer 67). This is done through measures and programs such as work-release, and non-confinement punishments. The initial hearing of criminal cases is done at any of the three-tiered land system courts or local courts and the appellate or higher regional land courts. The rulings of the lower courts can be appealed in the highest court –the Federal Court of Justice. The judges of local courts are tasked with hearing of prosecutions that lead to a sentence of not more than one year, whereas cases deemed to be more serious or leading to a sentence of up to three years, the local court judges are assisted by two lay judges who are equivalent of a jury in the common law system. Criminal cases which have sentences of more than three years are heard in a Land Court and presided over by three judges assisted by six lay judges. Cases such as genocide or treason, and appeals from lower courts are heard in a Land court of appeal, and are presided by a five judge bench.
Japan’s criminal justice system, the penal code is based on the German model and are, therefore, very similar. The criminal procedure code guarantees the right of the accused and seems to be more accusatorial despite the fact that the judge is still allowed to question witnesses, and decide cases based on the evidence presented by both plaintiff and defendant.
On the other hand, Saudis criminal justice system is based on the sharia, specifically the Hanbali school of Sunni Islam (Fairchild and Dammer 65). This system gave prominence to the beliefs and sayings of Muhammad, the prophet and Islam traditions. Crimes such as homicide, adultery, theft, personal injury, and so on, are defined carefully with penalties prescribed for each. As opposed to the German model or the common law, crimes such as homicide are considered crimes against a person not society, and as such the state administers justice on its own liking. In fact, victim’s family or the victim has the right to prescribe punishment or grant clemency.
As opposed to German and Japanese criminal justice system, the Saudi criminal justice systems are based on concepts that are aimed at simply rendering punishment to criminals rather than rehabilitating them. The Chinese criminal justice system is also concerned more with reforming criminals and not retribution; as a result, death sentences are, surprisingly stayed in instances where a prisoner is considered to have reformed. One cross-cutting similarity in the criminal justice systems of all these four countries is in their procedures, in which the judgment of lower courts can be appealed in higher level courts. Additionally, it is clear that, their systems are coded and criminal offences have set penalties for each type; judges also seem to have the burden of making judgment based on evidence without the help of a jury as is in the common law.
Works Cited
Fairchild, Erika, and Harry R. Dammer. Comparative Criminal Justice Systems. 2nd ed. Michigan: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2001. Print. Read More
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