Criminal law is a part of public law where different government agencies are given the task to take care and report about anti-public activities that constitutes criminal offences in the interest of public protection. Crimes are a part of life and every day various crimes are committed in all parts of the world. From the realistic point of view, some activities are considered crime in some legislation and on the other hand that same might not be a crime in some other legislation. Of course, there are general activities that are crimes from the common law perspective and are codified in most of the legislation (Lauterwein, 2016). It is important to understand the philosophy behind criminal laws and how it developed over time and how it is helping not only the society where it operates but also its neighboring societies. The end result of an offence is punishment which also has a philosophy behind it, that is, to have a deterrent effect on the society. Hence, the whole criminal law regime was developed not to safeguard the government but the people in the society.
The object of this paper is to discuss the criminal law development and regime in Australia as they have several varieties to criminal legislation that differs from state to state unlike various other countries like India or UK where single codified criminal legislation are followed throughout the country.
The Australian criminal law regime began in 1990 when Model Criminal Code Officer Committee was established to introduce a uniform criminal code. The committee published its first report in 1992 that dealt with general principles of criminal responsibilities that was later added to the Criminal Code of 1995. It has to be noted that, in case of federal offences commonwealth laws are applicable. The Criminal Code 1995 is based on the Model Criminal Code. A criminal offence has two basic elements, those are, the intention to commit the crime (Mens rea) and the actual commission of the crime (Actus reus). Physical components can be a lead with an aftereffect of direct or a condition in which lead, or a consequence of direct occurs. Blame components can be goal, learning, carelessness or carelessness and which are all characterized in the rules. These blame components can be considered as a step of criminal obligation, with expectation at the best and carelessness at the base (“Criminal Code Act 1995”, 2018).
R v. JS (2007) NSWCCA 272, is a landmark case on criminal law in Australia, where the proceedings was about the offence of destroying information that could be used in court of law as evidence. The authorization and activity of criminal codes in Australia for over a century has definitely required the High Court to consider on various events the fitting standards to be connected to code elucidation. A few specialists have proposed that the principle issue that has required the consideration of the courts is the degree to which respect it should be precedent-based law or passed resolutions in translating a criminal code (Boister, 2018). Criminal laws have two principle branches, one branch contains the criminal law principles and another branch contains the procedure of criminal law system when a criminal is brought in to the court. There is an imperative procedural qualification among basic and indictable offenses. By and large, a straightforward offense is attempted summarily in Magistrates Courts, where there is no jury and the justice is both the party who tries the other party and condemning officer. Unlawful offenses are more genuine offenses, and are typically attempted in a District Court or on the other hand a Supreme Court by a judge and jury. In some countries the rule of jury is not prevalent any more as their legislation has different structure like in India. On the other hand, in US jury rule is still prevalent in some types of cases, specially in criminal cases.
Australia has several criminal law statutes as almost every state has its own legislation. Like, Australian Crime Commission Act 2002, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979, Criminal Code 1995, Criminology Research Act 1971 etc. In Australia, criminal law has a place with those areas of law that are to a great extent controlled by the states, as opposed to by the central government, despite the way that there is a developing number of criminal law arrangements authorized by the Commonwealth government also, for example, the Anti-Terrorism Act 2005. Here, it is to a great degree fascinating to take note of that the government arrangement of Australia has it possess criminal law implementation organization like the Australian Federal Police. As already mentioned, that, Australia has several statutes for different states and the commonwealth has its own jurisdiction and legislation. The base of Australian Criminal law is taken from the English common law and was originally based on the Crimes Act 1914.