Problems of Society (Law, Crime, Punishment)

Topics: Domestic violence, Child abuse, Abuse Pages: 22 (7483 words) Published: February 9, 2012
Problems of Society (Law, Crime, Punishment)
Definition of Legal system
Legal systems can be split between civil law and common law systems. The term "civil law" referring to a legal system should not be confused with "civil law" as a group of legal subjects distinct from criminal or public law. A third type of legal system—accepted by some countries without separation of church and state—is religious law, based on scriptures. The specific system that a country is ruled by is often determined by its history, connections with other countries, or its adherence to international standards. The sources that jurisdictions adopt as authoritatively binding are the defining features of any legal system. Yet classification is a matter of form rather than substance, since similar rules often prevail.

What are the legal systems in Mauritius?
The hybrid legal system in Mauritius combines both the civil and common law practices. The legal system is governed by both the French Code Napoleon and the British law. Mauritius maintained its Commonwealth membership after its accession to the status of republic. The right of appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London is applicable.

Different types of Punishment
Imprisonment or incarceration, wherein the person is put in jail as a lawful punishment, is perhaps one of the most common forms of punishment is the world. Retribution, i.e. the act of correcting a person for his misconduct, is the main purpose of imprisonment. But this also serves other purposes like deterrence, incapacitation and rehabilitation. The term, or the period, that the convict has to spend in the prison depends on several factors, most prominent ones being the area of jurisdiction and severity of the crime. Even though it is the most common form of punishment, even imprisonment has been subjected to intense criticism as a result of incidents wherein people falsely accused of a crime had to spend life term in prison.

Yet another widely used form of punishment, probation is most often used in lieu of imprisonment. A person is sentenced to probation for misdemeanours as well as a felony of a lesser degree. In some cases the convict may have to spend a part of his sentence in the prison. The person on probation is supposed to abide by the probation conditions set by the court. For instance, he is restricted from possessing weapons or moving out of the area of jurisdiction. The probation officer is assigned the task to ensure that the person is follows these probation rules properly. If required, the court can change its orders, and send the convict back to the prison. Read more on probation violation consequences.

Fine and Restitution
Even though both these forms of punishment involve paying a particular sum of money, there is a difference between the two. Fine is supposed to be paid by the convict to the government, while restitution is supposed to be paid by the convict as a compensation to the affected party. This form of punishment is generally given when the judge is convinced that the convict is not a threat to the society. In case of a fine, it can either be given individually or along with a specific period of imprisonment. If required, the court can also confiscate the property of the convict, especially when the crime is serious and the person convicted is in no position of paying the fine.

Community Service
A form of alternative sentencing, community service requires the convict to work for the society, either partly or entirely, in lieu of the sanction or fine imposed on him. Generally, a person is sentenced to community service for varying degrees of misdemeanour, or for a non-violent felony, though in rare cases. The person may have to get involved in a specific activity related to the crime. For instance, a person held for possession of banned substance may have to join a group working to create awareness about the hazards of the substance abuse....
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