Criminal Law

XV. Conclusion

This research paper has outlined many of the most salient aspects of the criminal law. In so doing, historical and traditional applications of law were discussed en route to an examination of more recent developments. The criminal code is continuously evolving because it continually adapts to new environments and situations. Recall that one of the first known sets of laws, the Code of Hammurabi, dates back to 1750 BC. Since that time, societies have of course developed and recorded new laws, reworked existing laws, and discarded antiquated laws. The Code of Hammurabi, for example, included some 282 laws. Today, developed nations like the United States have authored volumes of criminal sanctions that would require a vast library to compile. Although idiosyncrasies of the historical evolution of criminal law are more complex than could be outlined here, it is important to note that the overarching goal of the criminal law is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of society. As societies develop and face new and unforeseen circumstances, the criminal law must, and will, follow suit. It is in this way that the criminal law protects its citizens and remains one of the hallmarks of civilized societies.

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