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a rule or body of rules of conduct inherent in human nature and essential to or binding upon human society

Statutory law

The written law enacted by a legislative body

Penal code

the body of criminal laws specifying offenses and prescribing punishments.

case law

judicial interpretations of common law principles and doctrines, as well as interpretations of constitutional law, statutory law, and administrative law

common law

the system of laws originated and developed in England and based on court decisions, on the doctrines implicit in those decisions, and on customs and usages rather than on codified written laws

Rule of law

principle that the law applies to everyone even those who govern

criminal law

set of laws which deal with actions which are considered dangerous to the public welfare or morals, or to the interests of the state. Laws which are not criminal laws are civil laws.

Substantive criminal law

the part of the law that defines crimes and specific punishments

procedural law

law that defines the rules used to enforce substantive law

civil law

The branch of law dealing with the definition and enforcement of all private or public rights, as opposed to criminal matters.


a private wrong or injury, other than breach of contract, for which the court will provide a remedy


a ruling that is used as the basis for a judicial decision in a later, similar case

Stare decisis

Let the decision stand; decisions are based on precedents from previous cases


One of the highest class of offenses, and punishable with death or imprisonment.


a breaking of a law or obligation, violation

inchoate offense

an offense committed prior to and in preparation for what may be a more serious offense; it is a complete offense in itself, even though the act to be done may not have been completed

actus reus

an act in violation of the law or a guilty act

mens rea

the state of mind that accompanies a criminal act. also a guilty mind

reckless behavior

An activity that increases the risk of harm

Criminal negligence

behavior in which a person fails to reasonably perceive substantial and unjustifiable risks of of dangerous consequesnes


the coexistence of: and act in violation of the law or a culpable mental state

ex post facto

"after the fact." An ex post facto law is one which makes a particular act illegal, and punishes people who committed that crime before the law was passed, i.e., when the act was legal. "Ex post facto" means "from a thing done afterward" in Latin.

element (of a crime)

In a specific crime one of the essential features of that crime as specified by law or statue

Corpus delicti

Means " body of the crime" The facts that show that a crime has occured

Hudud crime

Serious violation of islamic law that is regarded as an offense against God

Tizar crime

A minor violation of islamic law, is regarded as a crime against society not God

M'Naghten rule

A rule for insanity determining whether or not the defendant knew what he or she was doing was wrong


someone was induced to break the law by a person or persons working for the police, were not predisposed to break that law

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