Basic Nature and Essential Characteristics

Criminal law is the body of rules that defines crimes and treats for their punishment. This branch of the study of law is generally punitive in nature. The crimes defined in criminal law necessary have corresponding and commensurate punishments to be imposed for anyone who violates the penal provisions. The nature and purpose for promulgating criminal laws is for the keeping and maintenance of peace and order. Violations of the provisions of this form of edict are common occurrence in daily routines of the police departments, officers, and even among some streets of almost every country. Thus, to avoid and deter the perpetration of criminal offenses, violations of the criminal laws are usually meted out with serious punishments imposed by the courts of law in accordance with rules promulgated for such purpose.

The criminal law provisions are either mandatory or prohibitory in character. Violations of mandatory provisions are usually in the form of omissions of what is legally mandated and expected from the person. The doing of something that the law prohibits constitute the commission of a criminal offense. An example of an omission in law is the legal obligation of parents to provide immediate assistance for their minor child under their custody in cases when the latter suffers from serious health emergencies. This parental care and support should be complied with in good faith by the parents of the minor and in case of omission whether by neglect or with willful intent, the parents shall borne the punishment provided by law for whatever that may happen to their child be it mere physical injuries or worst, death. Thus, an act of neglect by way of not performing the due diligence required by law from the parents for the protection of the life of a minor who died due to lack of proper care constitutes homicide. For the crimes of commission, certain acts are expressly prohibited by law such as the killing of another person save in some exempting and justifying circumstances that the law provides. Should anyone commit an act that results in the death of another person, the former shall suffer the punishments for either homicide, murder or man slaughter.

In both violations, whether omission or commission of the penal provisions, the court and its officers must observe certain rules for their trial and punishments. These rules are promulgated to ensure that the truth is revealed and every material facts and circumstances are considered in the course of trial. It also makes certain that the rights of the accused and the interest of the public are protected to avoid the miscarriage of justice. Criminal law does not only refer to the violations of the accused but it also provides for his rights before the criminal justice system. These rights of the accused and the interest of the public in seeking the truth and finding the real perpetrator of the abominable act should be carefully balanced to thresh out the truth from the alibis and conjectures that may come from either of the parties.