Criminology Assignment

Topics: Human rights, Law, Criminology Pages: 4 (1442 words) Published: March 8, 2005
Criminology: Assignment 1
1. According to the textbook, the legal, and most common, definition of crime is that it is a legalistic one in that it violates the criminal law and is punishable with jail terms, fines, and other sanctions. The Human Rights definition of crime defines crime as an action that violates the basic rights of humans to obtain the necessities of life and to be treated with respect and dignity. Unlike the legal definition of crime, the Human Rights definition of crime has a broader concept than its counterpart. With the Human Rights definition of crime, criminologists are allowed to the entire range of acts and omissions that cause social injury and social harm, while the legal definition of crime would only allow a criminologists to study acts and omission that cause individual injury and individual harm. Also, the legal definition of crime can vary depending on what society makes up those laws. Which acts or omission qualify as crimes depends on the values that the specific society preserves. I feel that these definitions contradict one another rather than complement one another. As I mentioned before, the legal definition of crime can vary depending on that society's cultural values. Where one act or omission qualifies as a crime in one society, in another society it might be wildly accepted. On the other hand, the Human Rights definition of crime advocates a definition of crime that is based on human rights rather than on legal statues. These human rights are universal and are recognized throughout the world. If an act that would violate an individual's basic human rights has been committed it has more of a chance to be recognized as a crime by societies throughout the world than it would be with just a legal definition of crime. The legal definition of crime is a useful starting point for the study of crime if a criminologist wanted to study something more specific relating to crime. The module points out that each part of the...
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