parliament | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction / Comparative CJ

Parliament, in the context of criminal justice, is the law-making body of a country or jurisdiction responsible for establishing criminal laws and justice policies.

Parliament plays a vital role in the criminal justice system. This is the group of people who get together to create and pass laws, including those that decide what actions are crimes. When it comes to the criminal justice system, a significant part of Parliament’s job is to write, review, and pass laws about crime and punishment. Accordingly, these laws are used to guide judges, lawyers, police officers, and others who work in the criminal justice system.

Parliament doesn’t just make the laws, though. They also control the budget for the criminal justice system. They decide how much money goes into things like courts, police departments, and prisons. Both the making of laws and the allocation of resources are crucial for the effective working of the criminal justice system.

How Parliament Works

Parliament typically consists of two groups, or “houses.” In the United Kingdom, for example, there is the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Both houses have a say in the law-making process, although the exact details can vary from one country to another.

The public usually elects the members of Parliament (MPs). These MPs represent the views and interests of the people who voted for them. When a law is proposed, or a “bill” as it is called, it is discussed and debated in Parliament. If the majority of the MPs agree on the bill, it becomes law.

The Impact of Parliament on the Criminal Justice System

The decisions made in Parliament have a direct impact on the criminal justice system. If Parliament enacts stricter laws on a particular crime, the police will be expected to enforce these laws, leading to more arrests. Courts, in turn, will have to handle more cases related to this crime.

On the other hand, if Parliament decides to focus more on rehabilitation rather than punishment, it could lead to changes in sentencing laws. It might result in fewer people going to prison and more people receiving help to keep them from committing crimes in the future.

Effect on Society

The laws and policies that Parliament makes shape the society we live in. If Parliament enacts laws that are just, fair, and respectful of human rights, it promotes a society that values justice and human dignity. On the other hand, if the laws are harsh and oppressive, it can lead to a society where fear and punishment are prevalent.

In conclusion, Parliament plays a crucial role in defining and shaping the criminal justice system. The laws and policies they enact determine how crime is handled in a country and have a significant impact on society.

In the realm of criminal justice, Parliament is the influential body enacting laws and shaping policies, thereby influencing society and its relationship with crime.

[ Glossary ]

Last Modified: 07/12/2023


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