Criminal Law And Its Definitions

in Crime

A crime a breach of a statutory duty, it is also known as offence. When a person does a crime his liability is determined the elements of crime. Which are guilty intentions and wrong act. Thus when these too constitute together and crime is performed.

Many attempts have been made to define crime but it has not been possible to discover the most scientific definition workable in all cases. What ever by different definitions it is clear that it is wrong committed by an individual in society. The crime result in punishment and a special procedure is followed in deciding the guilty of accused person.


Definitions of Crime:

Crime is a word of which the interpretation has varied with the philosophic bias of the writer; it has been described as the violation of rights, when considered in reference to the evil tendency of such violation, as regards the community at large, but this definition is too wide; and would include any evil actor movement whether or not it is punishable by law. There is some important definition as follow……


  1. According to Austin; “A wrong which is pursued at the discretion of the injured party or his representatives in a civil injury, a wrong which is pursued by sovereign or his subordinates is a crime”.
  2. According to Blackstone; “An act committed or omitted in violation of public law forbidding or commanding it” his other definition is “Crime is a violation of public rights and duties due to the whole community considered as community”.
  3. According to Stephen; “A crime is a violation of a right considered in reference to the evil tendency of such violation as regards the community at large”.


 Crime is an act of omission or commission, contrary to municipal law, tending to the prejudice of the community for which punishment can be inflicted as the result of judicial proceedings taken in the name of state. The great difference between legal and the popular meaning of the word crime is, that where as the only perfectly definite meaning which a lawyer can attach to the word is that of an act or omission punishable by law, the popular or moral conception adds to this the notion of moral guilty of a specially deep and degrading kind.


So acts or default which tends to prejudice of the community and forbidden by law on pain of punishment inflicted at the suit of Crown. A crime is also often an injury to a private person who has a remedy in a civil action; it is an act or default contrary to the order, peace and wellbeing of the society that a crime is punishable by the state.


The word Crime and offence are not necessarily synonymous. All crimes are offences, but all offences are not crime.



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David Ormond has 4 articles online

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Criminal Law And Its Definitions

This article was published on 2012/01/15