Comparative Criminal Justice

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Comparative Criminal Justice System

Criminal Law has and will continue to be a fluid and ever-changing aspect of humanity, and yet the distinctive base of religious belief is still a foundation for a variety of laws today. While the separation of church and state is in effect, history states a wide range of laws have been established based on religious beliefs and ideals, the Bible for one, and currently the Qur’an, which is the basis for Islamic Law. It is the only true form of law in the present time that is not backed by a Government because it is a form of law based completely on religion. The two primary sources of the Islamic Law stem from the Shari’s and the Sunnah, the Shari is the law defined by God, or Allah, and told directly to Gods’ prophet on Earth, Muhammad. The Sunnah, the second factor in Islamic Law deals with the issues not addressed in the Qur’an, yet is still in the word of the Prophet. “In a few Islamic countries, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Sudan, it is proclaimed as the basis for all law, including the harsh Islamic criminal law based on the ideal of retribution” (Fairchild & Dammer 2001 P. 61). Also stated in the text Comparative Criminal Justice Systems by Fairchild and Danner is the four distinct types of schools in the belief of Islamic Law:

“There are four major schools of Islamic Law, derived from religious leaders living in different areas and facing different problems in the two centuries following the death of Muhammad. These schools are Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki, and Shafi’i. The main differences between these schools are in matters of emphasis, whether on tradition, judicial reasoning, or the elaboration of the Qur’an” (2001 P.62).

Therefore in the following paper the objective will be to describe the countries currently an Islamic Law, the key characteristics and the advantages and disadvantages that the system provides, furthermore, the paper will address one particular country and discuss the policies and procedures used in their form of Law.

Afghanistan is one of the poorest and most troubled countries in the world. The land that occupies Afghanistan has a long history of domination by foreign conquerors and strife among internally warring factions. At the gateway between Asia and Europe, this land was conquered by Darius I of Babylonia circa 500 B.C., and Alexander the Great of Macedonia in 329 B.C., among others. In recent years, war and lawlessness had destroyed much of the country; millions of people went into exile and brought its economy to a standstill.

Brief History

During the imperial days Afghanistan became a buffer zone when both Britain and Russia agreed that an incursion into Afghanistan would be considered a declaration of war against each other. Both respected this arrangement. After Britain's departure from the region, Russians increased their influence in Afghanistan with help and support from India, which wanted to keep Pakistan carved out of British India in 1947. Meanwhile, the Russians believed that the Americans, who replaced Britain as the new superpower, were too far away from this region to get physically involved. So in 1979, when the pro-soviet communist regime in Kabul showed signs of weakness, the Soviet Union sent its troops into Afghanistan. They faced no resistance and captured the entire country in a few days. However, the Soviets were mistaken about the United States response to their invasion. The Americans did not like the Soviet presence in Afghanistan as it could have allowed the Soviet Union to have undue influence in South Asia and the oil rich Middle East. In engaging the Russians in Afghanistan, the Americans also saw an opportunity to avenge their defeat in Vietnam.

The Pakistanis were equally keen to prevent the Russians from strengthening their position in Afghanistan, particularly because of the theory, which was popular at the time, that Moscow wanted to reach the...
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