Criminal Behaviour- All the Behaviours Are Not Criminalized

Topics: Crime, Sociology, Criminal law Pages: 4 (1561 words) Published: July 13, 2012
The definitions of crime and law differ from country to country as well as it is also affected by time. For instance, it is not a crime to eat or butcher a dog in Mainland China but it is illegal to do so in Hong Kong (China and Hong Kong are one country but both have their own political and social system, so their definitions and process of crime and law differ) and to consume or trade of opium was legal in Hong Kong before second world war but after that it is criminalized to trade or consume opium in Hong Kong. Today opium is illegal all over the world. Now we can make a point that criminalizing any behaviour by the law is relatively affected by time and space in general. The certain types of behaviour that is criminalized in early days may not be criminal behaviour nowadays and one country that define certain behaviour as criminal, other countries may not define as so. But lethal crimes such as murder, rape and robbery-crimes that have obvious victims and pose clear threats to the security of people and property- are always and anywhere defined as crime (Course guide, unit 1, p.3). To understand this case, first of all, we need to be clear that what is crime and law in basic and going through more examples and criminal perspectives we can conclude ‘only some types of behaviour and not others are criminalized by the law.’ Michael Jackson, Associate Professor, Department of Law, University of Hong Kong, writes in ‘Introduction to Crime, law and Justice in Hong Kong’ page 17- ‘crime involves deviance; that is, behaviour that in some way contravenes or departs from accepted or expected norms of social or community behaviour.’ Wikipedia of Law says, ‘…. law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behaviour.’ Referring to the course book unit 1, page 3, crime is behaviour that is subject to legally defined punishment, and criminal law is a written code defining crimes and their punishment. Therefore, we can...

References: 1. Hong Kong Criminal Justice, Unit 1, Course Guide, OUHK 2012, page 3 & 4
2. Introduction to Crime, Law and Justice, Edited by Mark S. Gaylord, Danny Gittings and Harold Traver (2009), Criminal Law by Michael Jackson, page 17
3. A Concise History of Hong Kong, John Mark Carroll, 2007,Rowman & Littlefield Publisher Ins.,page-35
4. The Handbook of Deviant Behaviour, Clifton D. Bryant, 2011, Routledge, page-138
5. Constructing Crime: Contemporary Processes of Criminalization, Janet Eaton Mosher, 2010, UBC Press, page-179
6. BBC News, Woman jailed for killing cow,
7. Wikipedia, Government Slaughterhouse in Hong Kong,
8. polyandry tradition in Nepal,
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