comparative criminal justice systems

Topics: Criminal justice, Law, Police Pages: 6 (2093 words) Published: January 21, 2014
List the three approaches your textbook List and explain the three ways identified in Chapter 1 to study different criminal justice systems. Identify which of emphasizes and explain why the author believes that approach is most desirable for this book.


In Phillip L. Reichel’s book Criminal Justice systems 6th edition Phillip Reichel uses the historical, political and descriptive approaches to compare criminal justice systems, although it is the institution and actors strategy that Lynch emphasizes. Legal systems and legal traditions have been studied and compared since the early 18th century. We will be discussing why criminal justice systems are studied and evaluating and comparing how the historical, political and descriptive approaches are used to study today’s criminal justice systems. In reference to why we study other justice systems although a society cannot replace their legal system completely with that of another country’s legal system it is important that we use comparative studies, as there are both provincial and universal benefits. Comparing how other criminal justice systems operate provides a point of contrast for a country’s own justice system also enabling them to analyse and to better understand their legal system in order to help improve the way in which their system operates. As to the universal benefits comparative studies help nations to better understand differences and similarities in other nation’s justice systems to help them cooperate and work together to combat international crime. Although law enforcement agencies have worked together for centuries with the first extradition agreement between America and Great Britain being made in 1794. One may suggest that it is essential that criminal justice systems work more closely today than ever before as organised crime has developed more on an international scale. Countries can co-operate together on both a bilateral and multinational basis. The latter being where more than two countries work together for example the EU and the former being where two countries work together usually neighbours for example America and Canada. As with all three approaches the primary goal is to convey information. With the historical approach information studied is used to tell us what mistakes and successes have already occurred and what earlier experiences tell us about the present. Although perhaps the most important benefit gained from using the historical approach is how knowledge of the past prepare us for the future? As the criminal justice system and judiciary changes over time and by not having an understanding of the past one may suggest it would be difficult to prepare for the future. Over the years there have been many changes in criminal justice systems around the world and the historical approach has helped legal systems learn from past mistakes and successes in their penitentiary system’s, rehabilitation processes, judiciary, case law and other areas such as investigative techniques and the way in which we gather evidence. As mentioned some of the benefits of using an historical approach is how knowledge of the past can help prepare us for the future and what we can learn from our mistakes and successes. Improving conviction rates and decreasing wrongful convictions has always been a goal sought by criminal justice systems globally. The introduction of DNA had a huge impact on law enforcement agencies around the world and improved the way they investigated crimes, gathered evidence, prosecuted, solved crimes, decrease wrongful convictions and helped in exonerating people who had already been wrongfully convicted people. In 2002 the innocence project was set up in the United States and as of December 2011, 307 were exonerated of wrongful convictions by the use of DNA testing since...

References: Phillip L. Reichel, Comparative Criminal Justice Systems: A Topical Approach, 2007, United States, Prentice Hall, 5th Edition
Antonio Cassese, International law, 2005, Oxford, Oxford University Press, Second Edition
United Nations:
DNA learning centre:
National audit centre:
US legal definitions:
1, 2,3,4,5 (No author or publisher)
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