Natural Law Vs. Criminal Law

1860 Words8 Pages
From the beginning of time in every society there have been laws, and with every set of laws, there are those who break these societal rules. On top of laws, there are natural laws, which are similar to norms. The definition of natural law “is any act that is seen as fundamentally wrong, strongly disapproved, and deserving of punishment, regardless of whether it is legal” (Chambliss). Some argue that when natural law is broken it should also be considered a crime. However, natural laws are not written down, and what makes it a crime is the fact that the crime is written down and enforced by the government. Where this becomes interesting is in the debate on natural law versus criminal law. For example, the legalization of marijuana was once illegal, both recreational use and medical use. However, in modern day, marijuana is legal in some states, but still breaks natural laws. Legalization of marijuana, one day is illegal and a crime and the next day it is legal and not a crime anymore. This causes norms to alter and change over time.
However, not all norms are as deviant as breaking an actual law. They are similar but a crime must follow a specific legal definition, which is a “crime occurs when a person either acts, fails to act, attempts to act, or agrees to act in a way that is a violation of the criminal law, and without defense or justification” (Chambliss). This can include acts that are carried out and those that are attempted but not successful. Another type of crime
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