International Crime Rates: Germany, France, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & the United States of America
The legal systems in the United States, Germany, France, and Saudi Arabia are different due to the differences in the U.S. crime rate and due as well to the differences in the Criminal Justice systems of Germany, France and Saudi Arabia. What factors can be said to cause the difference in crime rates? Does the integration of culture and religion in Saudi Arabia really result in reduced crime rates?
The basic of structure in court systems throughout the world or the universal structure is characterized by courts being divided by lower, mid, and higher levels of courts. There are evident and not so evident differences and variations with this basic structure of organization. There are four types of criminal justice structures of organization. Those are:
Common law systems:
Most nations that are English-speaking countries have what is termed "Anglo-American Justice" in that lawyers interpret and judges are bound by precedent.
II. Civil Law:
Known by the term "Continental Justice" An inquisitorial system where the accused has fewer rights than in common-law systems.
Also known as Marxist-Leninist Justice and exist in Africa and Asia. Characterized by administrative law with non-legal individuals make the majority of decisions.
Known by the term "Muslim or Arabic Justice": Practices and procedures taken from the Koran in form of interpretations.
Each of these systems has local and cultural dimensions as well as different defining laws and other variations
V. Limitations of Study:
Throughout the world there exist many variation on that basic universal structure. Criminology research yields results showing an array of variations of the basic court structure. Variables are inclusive of the roles of the actors in each organizational court structure and study is affected by the changing definitions of those roles from one country to another. There are those whose legal practice opens all legal field of practice thoroughly throughout the fields of law horizontally upon having attained education and the passing of a bar examination.
Just as well, there exist variations wherein the attorney will never experience any other part of the playing field other than the position chosen for life such as a government attorney in countries of "civil law" structure and organization. . One variable is the roles of the individuals performing their employment demonstrated in the process of the legal system. There are variables within variables in performing criminology analysis.
For instance in the Islamic community the cultural mores' and beliefs are woven into the very fabric of the Islamic life in such a way that every detail is affected by the religion of the Islamic people. In other countries there is not so much integration of religion thereby showing different affectations to the legal system by religion than in the Kingdom of Saudi.
Another variable is that expressed in the functional roles as well as the educational background and training as well as chosen path by the professional. All of this is subject to further variations dependent upon the type of defense allowed to the defendant, whether the defendant is allowed an attorney or must settle by arbitration and the discretion of the prosecuting attorney role is a variable as well.
VI. Variations in Defense:
In the courts Saudi Arabia, or the Shari'a courts the advocates are not required to be professionally trained. In fact, Muslims generally represent themselves or were represented by a family member or even the witness for their character would advocate so cultural variations must be taken into consideration. Secondly, the level of education, training and continuing legal education required in the different countries cause variation in the results of studies. .
VII. The United States Criminal Justice System:
The U.S. Criminal Justice System is characterized by the following:
Judges are utilized in the city or municipal courts within towns and cities for the addressing of traffic citations and minor crimes. The Judge is either through election or appointment depending on the by-law of the local municipal organization. The position held by the Judge in the mid-level US. courts are those of the District Court and Circuit Court Judges. District court hears traffic cases as well as misdemeanors and other minor crimes.
The Circuit court hears cases that are appealed from the lower courts or are of the nature of felony criminal cases. Civil litigation is also performed in Circuit court in relations to family matters such as divorce and child custody proceedings. Judges in these courts are elected officials who are considered public servants. Qualifications for becoming a judge are defined by attainment of a Juris Prudence in Law degree and passing of the State bar Examination for attorneys. Lawyers are qualified for the position of judge with no further education or training.
Holds a significant amount of discretion as to whether or not to move forward and prosecute a case, whether or not to file formal charges or drop the case. Described as "lawyers for the state" the conflicting pressures defining the prosecutors' role are in upholding justice while prosecuting those who break the law. The pressure is often referred to as "The Prosecutors' Dilemma." The prosecutor's job is to:
"see that justice is done."
Accordingly there is always a chance for bias. (Smith & Cole,)
Provides representation for those accused of crimes, or those convicted of crimes seeking a redress of filing an appeal to the conviction. Plea- bargaining is a method utilized more often than not in criminal court proceedings. The defense attorney provides counsel for the defendant and keeps the defendant advised at all times of the individuals' Constitutional rights. The defense attorney is psychologist and counselor to the defendant as well as providing legal representation.
III. The Criminal Justice System of Germany:
Objectivity is the key word for prosecutors in the court systems of Germany. The prosecutor or "heard of the preliminary proceedings" are not in actuality a role that is investigatory in nature and not supervisory in terms of the role. The police upon receiving a report process the report into an open file and make a decision whether it is worthy of investigations. Each and every report must be followed through with in terms of investigation regardless of the opinion of the prosecutor.
After the police have done their duties the prosecutor has the choice of taking the case or return the case to the police for further working up however, the prosecutor must, under recently passed law, search every avenue for prosecutions evidence. Reportedly three out of four cases in Germany result in being dropped. Whether or not to charge someone with a crime in Germany is a decision that is reliant on:
Evaluation of evidence
Evaluation of guilt
Victims are allowed in Germany to file a formal complaint.
Prosecutors in Germany tend to work harder prosecuting cases where prior convictions had been obtained. Cases against relatives or family members involving rape, theft, robbery or rape are more likely to be dismissed by prosecutors in Germany. The opposite is result of types of crime such as embezzlement. The prosecutor is under stricter rules of discretion. The level of advocacy provided by U.S. attorneys far exceeds that in many countries.
IV. Criminal Justice in France:
Term used for the Public Prosecutor in France. The procurator acts on behalf of the private citizen who a crime has been perpetrated upon. Their duty is the assurance in justice being applied and that the interests of society are served. (Terrill, 1997).
Have the most authority of these three. The role of a police may be played by a member of the Police Nationale or the Gendarmeri Nationale. There are three levels of the police, which are officers, agents and assistant agents. After investigation the police hand over the results to the procurator with the procurator having the authority to either prosecute the case or by addition of civil additions to the criminal charge seek that the defendant be prosecuted. (Pease and Hukkila, 1990).
Chosen from court judges to serve a three-year renewable term. The role is one of investigative director in assigning and supervision of activities of the procurator and judicial police. Does not have the power to direct opening of investigation. (Frase, 1988) All investigations are conducted until two principles which are first that all facts are investigated fairly and that no deception involved and secondly that steps in the investigation are to be documented in written form
V. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:
Procedures in the Shari'a court allow two different types of procedure in criminal law as follows:
The inquisitorial phase is performed without supervision from a magistrate. Islamic law has set guidelines for the inquisitorial stage to protect the rights of the defendant. During the interrogation phase the authority heading the process is not allowed to take a statement under oath from the accused. Jurors in…