To What Extent Does Criminal Law Reflect the Moral and Ethical Standards of Society?

1682 Words May 1st, 2012 7 Pages
To what extent does criminal law reflect the moral and ethical standards of society?

Criminal law is a construct of the government, enforced through tangible measures. In a democratic society, the government is elected by the citizens, and as such, laws are generally conceived with the aim to reflect whatever ethical or moral standards are presently acceptable. However, in order to be truly effective, some legislation must circumvent current sociological viewpoints in order to create laws that are genuinely in the best interests of society. This results in a delicate balancing act, as lawmakers attempt to weigh the views of the majority against the need for laws to be both reasoned and objective.
One example of law being a reflection of
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The law and legal processes are utilised in various ways in order to provide a fair and just trial process for the victim and the accused, as well as the general community. There are set standards ensuring that the trial process is a fair one for all involved, as a functioning, fair and efficient justice system is the cornerstone of any true democracy.
In most cases, one of the main objectives of courts and the sentences they impose is that of rehabilitation. This is evidenced through a growing move in favour of a more holistic approach to justice, trying to address the issues which may have led to the crime, rather than just punishing the end result. One of the prime examples of this therapeutic approach to justice is the introduction of the Drug Court. Governed by the Drug Court Act 1998, the Drug court has both Local court and District court jurisdiction, and seeks to target the causes of drug-related criminal behaviour. It achieves this by ensuring that those who go through it receive treatment for their addictions, thereby reducing their propensity to reoffend, as many crimes are motivated by the need to satisfy addictions.