An Introduction to Comparative Legal Models of Criminal Justice

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  • Analyzes how police systems, courts, corrections, and legal system structures are determined by legal models
  • Presents continental, common law, Islamic, Marxist, and mixed legal models
  • Highlights how and why cases are handled differently by various countries
  • Instructor’s Manual, Test Bank, and PowerPoint slides are available with qualifying course adoption
  • Summary


    While in Plato’s time there may have been some truth to his belief that there can only be "one single justice, and one single law," such is not the case today. Criminal justice systems vary widely across the world in their approaches to the problem of crime. Bringing together the collective wisdom of Cliff Roberson and Dilip K. Das, two world-renowned experts and university professors who have been involved in the criminal justice system for over thirty years, An Introduction to Comparative Legal Models of Criminal Justice presents the theme that a country’s legal model to a great extent determines the character of its police and corrections as well as its legal system. This book examines these different systems and is a useful reference guide for all criminal justice professionals.

    Examines Various Approaches

    The book begins with a brief overview of the five legal models. The continental (civil) system, characterized by an inquisitorial nature and practiced in most European countries, is discussed, followed by the common law model, which is known for its adversarial quality and is used in most English-speaking countries. The religion-based Islamic system and the rehabilitation-oriented Marxist system are also profiled. Those systems that are still emerging or are hybrid in nature are characterized as mixed. In some cases, the secretive nature of certain countries’ methods, especially those using extreme punishments, necessitated reliance on reports published by the U.S. State Department.

    By examining how other societies deal with problems of justice, criminal justice professionals will gain insight as to which police and corrections methods are likely to be the most successful in their jurisdictions, and which will create more problems than they solve.

    Table of Contents

    An Introduction to the Study of Comparative

    Legal Models

    Key Terms


    Words of Art

    Legal Models


    Natural Law

    Positive Law Approach

    Historical Approach

    Law as an Instrument of Control

    Function of a Court System

    Brief Examination of the Legal Models

    Roman Law

    Revival of Roman Law

    Commercial Law

    Civil Law Model

    Common Law Model

    Islamic Model

    Socialist Model

    Mixed-Legal Model

    Law Enforcement Systems


    Comparative Violence


    Questions in Review

    Common Law Model: The Courts

    Key Terms


    Henry II

    The Magna Carta

    Sir Edward Coke

    Sir William Blackstone

    Common Law in the United States

    U.S. Court Systems Today

    Federal System

    U.S. Court of Appeals

    U.S. District Courts

    U.S. Magistrates

    Participants in a Criminal Case

    Trial Judge


    Prosecuting Attorney

    Law in Action: The Case of Wen Ho Lee

    State Attorney General

    Defense Counsel

    The Right to Represent Oneself

    Privileged Communication

    Clerk of the Court


    Court Reporter

    Court Commissioners

    English Court System Today

    Court of Queen’s or King’s Bench

    Supreme Court of Judicature

    Magistrates’ Court

    Crown Court

    Royal Courts of Justice

    Comparisons between the United States and the United


    Practice of Law

    Canadian Legal System

    Court Structure

    Provincial and Territorial Superior Courts

    Provincial and Territorial Courts

    The Judiciary

    Right to Fair Trial versus Freedom of the Press

    Scottish Legal System

    Australian Legal System

    Legal System

    Classification of Crimes


    Questions in Review

    Policing and Corrections under the Common

    Law Model

    Key Terms

    Policing in Common Law Countries

    Deviance Control or Civil Order Control

    Policing Models

    Local Policing in the United States and England

    Local Policing in the United States

    Mission of Local Police Departments

    Local Policing in England and Wales

    Hiring Requirements for U.S. and English Police Officers

    Salaries for English and U.S. Police Officers

    Training of New Officers

    Police Powers and Use of Discretion

    Community Policing under the Common Law Model

    Policing in Canada

    Corrections in Common Law Countries


    In the United States

    In the United Kingdom and Wales

    Sentencing in the United Kingdom


    Rates of Incarceration

    Approaches to Confinement in the United States

    English Purposes of Confinement

    Prisons Ombudsman

    Alternatives to Incarceration

    Corporal Punishment



    Probation in England

    Probation in the United States

    House Arrest

    Death Penalty


    Questions in Review

    Civil Law Model: The Courts

    Key Terms


    Early Tribal and Feudal Laws

    Early Legislation

    Influence of Roman Law

    Canon Law

    Commercial Law

    Development of National Legal Systems 105

    Napoleonic Code

    German Legal Science

    Codes in Civil and Common Law Models

    Inquisitorial Prosecution

    German Civil Law System

    Rights of the Accused in a German Criminal Trial

    Principle of Territoriality

    Criminal Justice in France

    Criminal Justice in Brazil


    Questions in Review

    Policing and Corrections under the Civil Law


    Key Terms


    Law Enforcement in France

    Law Enforcement in Germany

    Law Enforcement in Brazil

    Corrections under the Civil Law Model

    Pre-trial Diversion

    Plea Bargaining




    Death Penalty



    Questions in Review

    The Islamic Law Model: The Courts

    Key Terms


    Origins and Evolution


    Fundamental Principles

    Structure of Penal Law

    Murder under Islamic Law

    Evidence of Guilt


    Testimony of Eyewitnesses

    Other Evidence

    Doubt as to Guilt

    Saudi Arabia

    Criminal Cases




    Questions in Review

    Policing and Corrections under the Islamic Legal Model

    Key Terms


    Saudi Policing

    The Saudi Record on Human Rights

    Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading

    Treatment or Punishment

    Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

    Policing in Pakistan

    Policing in Iran



    Blood Money

    Aid to Prisoners’ Families

    Corrections in Iran

    Corrections in Pakistan


    Questions in Review

    The Socialist Law Model: The Courts

    Key Terms


    Legal System of Russia

    People’s Republic of China


    Court System


    Law of Search and Seizure

    Rights of an Accused

    Court Procedures

    Legal System of Cuba

    Court Structure

    Trial Procedure

    Extradition from Cuba


    Questions in Review

    Policing and Corrections under the Socialist Law Model

    Key Terms


    Public Trust and Community Policing

    Policing in Russia

    Policing in the People’s Republic of China

    Use of Force by Police in China

    Police Detention

    Public Crime Statistics

    Policing in Cuba

    Corrections in Russia

    Imprisonment in Russia

    Corrections in China

    Chinese Prisons

    Early Release of Prisoners

    Prison Conditions

    Corrections in Cuba

    Range of Punishments

    Confinement in Cuba


    Questions in Review

    Mixed Law Models

    Key Terms


    Bulgarian System of Law

    Bulgarian Court System

    Bulgarian Prosecutors

    Crime Classification

    Trial Procedure

    Bulgarian Police System

    Corrections in Bulgaria

    Confinement in Bulgaria

    Indian System of Law

    Indian Legal History

    Crime Classifications in India

    Indian Court System

    Policing in India

    Criminal Process in India


    Corrections in India

    Confinement in India

    Sri Lankan System of Law

    Criminal Justice System

    Crime Classification

    Sri Lanka’s Court System

    Policing in Sri Lanka

    Trial Procedures

    Sentencing Process

    Confinement in Sri Lanka


    Questions in Review

    International Courts

    Key Terms


    International Criminal Court

    The United States and the ICC

    Establishment of the Court

    President of the ICC

    Judicial Divisions



    Other Offices

    Jurisdiction and Admissibility


    Duties of States That Are Parties

    Selected Court Cases

    Trial Procedure of the ICC

    International Court of Justice

    Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ)

    Establishment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)

    Resolution of Cases

    Practice Directions

    Jurisdiction of the ICJ

    Contentious Cases

    Advisory Proceedings

    Court of Justice of the European Communities

    Proceedings before the Court

    Court of First Instance

    Examples of Cases Brought before the Court of First Instance

    Civil Service Tribune


    Questions in Review

    International Criminal Justice Agencies and


    Key Terms




    Core Functions

    Trafficking in Human Beings


    Child Sexual Exploitation

    Public Safety and Terrorism


    Criminal Organizations

    Financial and High-tech Crimes

    Fugitive Investigative Services

    Interpol’s Other Areas of Crime

    National Central Reference Points Network

    International Cyber-crime Conference


    The Europol Computer System (TECS)

    International Association of Chiefs of Police

    International Police Association

    United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice


    U.N. Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

    International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and

    Criminal Justice Policy

    Criminal Justice Reform Unit

    Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention

    Institutes of the U.N. Crime Prevention and Criminal

    Justice Programme Network

    Commission on Narcotic Drugs

    U.N. Terrorism Prevention Branch

    International Narcotics Control Board

    Transnational Organized Crime

    Trafficking in Humans

    United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish

    Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children

    Trafficking in Firearms

    International Police Executive Symposium

    International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism

    Organization of American States

    Child Wise


    Questions in Review

    APPENDIX A: ICC Arrest Warrant for Thomas Lubanga Dyilo

    APPENDIX B: First Appearance before the International Criminal Court in Case of Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo

    APPENDIX C: Excerpts from the United Nations

    Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Resolution Sixtieth Session: Resolution Adopted by the General Assembly






    Author Bio(s)

    In 2009, a research study conducted by a group of professors from Sam Houston State University determined that Cliff Roberson was the leading criminal justice author in the United States based upon on his publications and their relevance to the profession.
    Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol.6, issue 1, 2009