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A Comparison of Criminal defenses and Specialized Courts In The United States, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia Name: Course no: Subject: Sociology Date: April, 2013 Introduction In this paper, the researcher analyzes two categorical topics; that is, a comparison of criminal law defenses in United States (USA), Nigeria and Saudi Arabia and the specialized Criminal Court system…
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Download file to see previous pages This is so because criminal Law looks at punishment of the offender rather than civil law remedy of compensation. As a general rule of criminal practice, every offender enjoys a right to a fair hearing encompassed in the cherished due process of law. To this effect, when a person is prosecuted under common law for countries like USA and Nigeria, the prosecution is under obligation to establish a premafacie case at preliminary trials. Once the premafacie case has been established, then the court will place the accused person on his or her defence such that he or she is not punished unheard as guaranteed under their respective Constitutions and Penal Laws giving a right to a fair hearing (due process of law). This means that the accused person is allowed to raise defenses available to his or her crime which is relevant and applicable to that jurisdiction. Examples of defenses include mistake of fact, provocation, self defense, automatism, diminished responsibility among others. Notable though is the fact that Saudi Arabia uniquely applies “Shari’ah principles, as derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah and state promulgated laws that do not contradict the provisions of the Qur’an and Sunnah.” Comparatively, some common law defenses applicable in USA and Nigeria do not apply to Sharia criminal system as herein discussed. Adherence to a fair hearing is respected in all countries. However, there is no need of establishing a premafacie case in Saudi Arabia. Once charged, you are tried directly and both parties are given a right to present their cases. Therefore, the accused is by all means expected to defend himself or herself unlike in common law jurisdiction where the accused will raise defenses upon establishing a case to answer. That being said, the author also examines the criminal Law specialized Court system in USA, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. The writer observes that both Nigeria and United States have specialized state and federal Courts that autonomously share jurisdiction in all criminal matters. But Nigeria has extra customary and Sharia law Court. The Nigerian sharia Courts are similar to that of Saudi Arabia. Federal Courts normally deals with interstate criminal trials whereas state Courts deals with state criminal trials. Saudi Arabia does not have federal Court structure but her Court system is collected from a combination of “Supreme Judicial Council, Courts of Appeals, and First-Instance Courts (General Courts and Summary Courts).” One unique feature is that ll countries have specialized Courts for criminal Proceeding as explained above with Supreme Court and Supreme Judicial Council as the Highest Courts of criminal Appeal for United States of America, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia respectively. They all have structures closer to people from local jurisdictions to the highest appellate Court as seen above. However, the big difference lies in the administration of criminal law justice system lies in a sense that Saudi Arabia system is designed typically according to sharia Law and there is no federalism of any sort as it is America and Nigeria. This also applies to Nigeria where similar sharia Law Court system is applied in Predominantly Islamic Northern states. However, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia differ on federal, customary and Magistrate Courts. Notable though is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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