Justice Each Country Has Different essay

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Some of the characteristics of this country include community policing, a patriarchal family system, the importance of higher education, and the way businesses serve as surrogate families. Asian societies are also "shame-based" rather than "guilt-based" as Western societies are. For example, it is unthinkable to commit a crime in such places because of the shame it would bring upon one's family and the business or corporation with which that family is associated with. (Stevens, 2004, Places with little… section, ¶ 2).

In the book, Comparative criminal justice, Francis J. Pakes (2004) points out that when compatriots become involved in trouble with the law abroad, the news media invariably gains an interest in criminal justice in far-away places. When a case in a foreign country ends, albeit, the increased interest in the criminal justice system of the country at issue with the law in the U.S. dissipates. The media attention to the article the researcher reviews perked interest regarding various laws in two different countries, the United States and Japan. Contextualizing, documenting and analyzing criminal justice processes/institutions in various countries and, in turn, comparing them to one's native country; enhances the understanding of criminal justice.

Stevens (2004) explains that experts concur regarding the existence of four types of criminal justice systems in the 185 nations throughout the world: These include:

1. Common;

2. civil;

3. socialist; and

4. Islamic.

Although some legal traditions may be similar, crimes may not be identically defined. Consequently, this contributes to challenges that the Interpol and the U.N. have contednded with for years. "Even something as simple as murder is defined differently by different nations. In some countries, crime data is based on offenses known to police, and in other countries, statistical data is based on convictions" (Stevens, 2004, Societal types and justice systems section, ¶ 4). Some countries in Central Africa, for instance, do not collect crime statistics. In socialist countries primarily, crime statistics may be collected, however, the data are classified. In other countries, comparing punishments may not be feasible along with the offender's family members being punished; punishments vary and may include stoning, mutilation, death, and/or imprisonment.

Personal Considerations

After reading this article in the newspaper, as well as seeing details repeatedly recounted on TV, the researcher perceives this article to be an appropriate one to critique, as it aligns the focus for comparative justice. The researcher reviewed a number of newspaper articles, some which did not relate sufficient details. The researcher ultimately chose the article in the Tennessean, the largest newspaper closest to Savoie's hometown. This article, however lacked some of the details the researcher perceived as necessary, consequently, the researcher also referred to several other sources, as noted earlier in this paper.

The researcher holds a mixed stand regarding the initial article, which serves as the focus for this paper. Although the article does relate legal issues, it appears void of a number of necessary facts featured in the article by Lah Cooper, Ahmed and Sanchez (2009). Similarly, however, the article by Lah Cooper, Ahmed and Sanchez lacks particular pertinent points that the initial article presents. Consequently the researcher would not whole heartily recommend that the initial article be chosen as a sole resource for others interested in comparative justice nor the subsequent second one as it does not address some of the vital points the initial article presents.

Nevertheless, the researcher considers the initial article, as well as the secondary one to be significant, as it does lead the reader to considering differences in Japanese and U.S. criminal laws.

According to U.S. federal law, kidnapping constitutes a crime even when one of the child's parents commit the crime. In the article, "International parental child abduction from the U.S. To India," Jeremy D. Morley (2008) explains:

The International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act (IPKCA), 18 U.S.C. 1204, makes it a federal felony to remove a child under the age of 16 from the United States, or to retain a child outside the United States with the intent to obstruct the lawful exercise of parental rights. In addition, every state recognizes that the abduction of a child by his or her parent is a serious crime, subject to penalties in excess of one year in prison. (Morley, 2008, ¶ 1).

According to the International Association for Parent-Child Reunion, created in Japan during 2009, more than 100 cases of children have been abducted by non-custodial Japanese parents and secured refuge in Japan. The U.S. State Department reports that the Japanese courts have not ordered the child be returned, even if/when the child was taken from the U.S. To Japan illegally; even though the custodial parent trying to regain possession of the child possesses a U.S. custody decree. Bruno argues that if the situation noted in this paper's initial newspaper account were reversed, U.S. courts would seek to resolve the situation. If "a Japanese parent had abducted a Japanese child and fled to America, U.S. courts would 'correct that problem, because it's a crime'" (Bruno, as cited in Lah, Cooper, Ahmed & Sanchez, 2009, ¶ 34). Bruno, along with a number of others quoted in the media express concerns that Japan provides a place people who abduct children may travel to and flee from the law.

As Okada points out in the quote introducing this paper, however, counties such as Japan and the U.S. not only hold different views on parenting, they also support and enforce various perceptions of laws. Just because one may reportedly be protected by the law in the U.S., this paper contends, does not ensure that protection will be enforced outside the U.S. boundaries. Whether one likes it or not, the law of the land only applies where the government in the land acknowledges that law.


Lah, K., Cooper, a., Ahmed, S. & Sanchez, C. (2009, ). American jailed in Japan for trying to reclaim his children. CNN.com. Retrieved October 21, 2009 from http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/09/29/japan.father.abduction/index.html?ere


Morley, J.D. (2008, March 28). News India-Times, Retrieved October 21, 2009 from http://www.internationalfamilylawfirm.com/2008/03/international-parental-child-abduction.html

Pakes, F.J. (2004). Comparative criminal justice. Willan Publishing. Retrieved October 21, 2009

http://books.google.com/books?id=dDtDwTJvOq8C&pg=PA1&dq=comparative+justic &lr=&as_brr=3&ei=0iLfStnVEp-GygTn7LSQCA#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Stevens, M. (2004). An introduction to comparative criminal justice. Military Law Associates.

Retrieved October 21, 2009 from http://faculty.ncwc.edu/mstevens/111/111lect16.htm

Yamaguchi, M. (2009, October 10). Japan to keep TN man in custody longer for snatching own children. The Tennessean. Retrieved October 21, 2009 from http://www.tennessean.com/article/20091010/NEWS03/910100316/1001/NEWS

____ (2009, October 16). Japan urged to solve global child custody disputes. The Washington

Times. LLC. Retrieved October 21, 2009 from http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/a/AS_JAPAN_US_CUSTODY_BATTLE?SITE=


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