International Criminal Justice System

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The criminal justice system is that subsystem of the national legal system which determines the circumstances in which and the procedure according to which individuals may be punished by the state for conduct that is defined as a crime.

For the sake of convenience, a distinction is normally drawn between the substantive aspects of the criminal justice system and its procedural aspects. The study of criminal law generally focuses on substantive law; namely, the principles of law according to which criminal liability (guilt) is determined, whilst the law of criminal procedure, together with the law of evidence, focuses on the manner in which this is done, together with the way in which offenders and suspected offenders are to be treated by the
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The term ‘criminal law’ is usually reserved for national (domestic) criminal law, which is determined according to the legal system of the country concerned and which will therefore vary to a greater or lesser extent from country to country. International criminal law is a considerably more recent branch of the law, which focuses on war crimes and crimes against humanity, including crimes like genocide. It is not determined according to the law of any particular state, but according to international norms and conventions.

Another area of criminal law that has developed in more recent years is transnational criminal law. This branch of the law is concerned with co-operative arrangements between states, aimed at preventing and combating the type of crimes that are commonly committed across national borders, such as terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and trafficking in human beings. It also deals with such matters as the extradition of criminals.

Lastly, we need to distinguish between criminal law and criminology. In criminal law, we study crime purely from a legal perspective. Criminology is the study of crime and criminal behaviour from psychological and sociological perspectives, seeking to understand the underlying causes and effects of such behaviour, as well as how to control or prevent
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Torture was abolished in 1796 and, after the second occupation in 1806, the English rules of criminal procedure and evidence gradually replaced those of Roman-Dutch law. In the process, the inquisitorial system of trial was replaced by the English adversarial system, which is still largely in use today. In an adversarial system, the trial takes the form of an open (and normally public) confrontation between the prosecution and the person accused of the crrime, with the evidence being presented in open court – and in the presence of the accused – by the prosecution and the defence, while the court itself merely acts as an impartial referee. Originally, guilt or innocence was determined by a jury, but the jury system was not a success in South Africa and was eventually abolished in
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