What is Criminal Law Sources importance and Principles

Criminal Law

In order to live in society, maintaining peace, harmony and respect for all forms of existence, we need to have rules and limits for our actions, in addition to consequences, in cases of inappropriate conduct. In this sense, it is up to the Criminal Law to manage our acts, including the punishment and application of sanctions for each violation.

The Federal Constitution is composed of laws that define everything from the functioning of our government to our coexistence as individuals belonging to the same nation or territory. Thus, Criminal Law can be defined by this set of laws, as well as the way to interpret them.

Generally, the Criminal Law configures the crime as a fact and the penalty as a consequence. From this assumption, we proceed to the definition that it configures the limits of the punitive power of the State.

Criminal law is a legal area responsible for assigning penalties to crimes committed in society, based on laws originating from the Legislative Power.

The principles of criminal law support the area and facilitate the understanding of any branch of law. In addition, this is one of the disciplines required in the OAB test and in police competitions .

Sources of Criminal Law

Now that we’ve seen the definition of Criminal Law, let’s talk about its sources. But first, it is essential to explain what the sources of law are. This term, within the legal field, concerns the roots of Law, the reasons that underlie its conceptions and guidelines.

Thus, Criminal Law consists of two sources, or two large genres, called material source and formal source, more specifically, sources of production or material or substantial and sources of knowledge or formal.

Source of Material Law

The source of substantive law is where the production of the norm occurs, that is, it corresponds to the body in charge of creating the Criminal Law.

The source of production of Criminal Law is the Union which, according to the Constitution, is responsible for legislating on civil , commercial, criminal, procedural, electoral, agrarian, maritime, aeronautical, space and labor law.

However, it is important to know that a Complementary Law can also authorize the punitive power of the State, in specific situations.

To understand better, let’s look at an example: imagine that a type of cotton is produced in your city. It is not colored, nor is it considered ordinary cotton, it is a unique material that does not exist anywhere else in the world. Your city is a pioneer in the production of this raw material.

As we mentioned, our life in society must be governed by laws so that we can respect the limits of coexistence. In the case of cotton production, it is no different. There must be laws that determine production guidelines and protect the manufacture of the material.

Therefore, a Complementary Law allows the State to create a Penal Law to protect the cotton production of its city.

Source of Formal Law

Now let’s talk about the formal sources of Criminal Law, which can be characterized as the way in which Criminal Law is revealed. They are divided into immediate and mediate.

The immediate ones are those we know in our daily lives: laws, the Federal Constitution, international human rights treaties, jurisprudence, principles and administrative acts.

The mediate concerns the doctrine, custom and general principles that govern the law.

What is the importance of Criminal Law?

Criminal law is extremely important for our coexistence. Its main function is to prevent and punish criminal conduct in our society.

In addition, it is responsible for protecting the nation from offenses that harm the essential legal interests to keep our life in harmony.

penal code

There is no way to talk about Criminal Law without talking about the Penal Code, which is made up of a set of laws and norms. But, much more than legislation, it is essential to keep our lives safe and our coexistence harmonious. 

The laws of the Penal Code cannot harm the Federal Constitution, just as they need to be in tune, that is, they must not contradict each other. 

It is worth noting that the Penal Code undergoes constant changes, according to our evolution as a society.

Principles of Criminal Law

The principles of criminal law support the area and facilitate the understanding of any branch of law. These are some of them:

Principle of broad defense

The principle of broad defense manifests the guarantee that no one can suffer the consequences of a sentence without having had the possibility of being part of the process of the judicial decision. That is, everyone has the right to use means of evidence to make their defense.

principle of legality

The principle of legality expresses the idea that there is no crime if it is not provided for by law. It is a way of limiting criminal law, so that it acts only within the laws in force.

Principle of minimal intervention

The principle of minimal intervention expresses that one should only resort to criminal law if other legal branches are not sufficient. Generally speaking, it is the last option, to be used only when necessary.

Principle of social adequacy

The principle of social adequacy manifests that the Law must be in harmony with the social reality of its time, based on the prevailing values ​​in society and adapting to its dictates.

principle of isonomy

The principle of isonomy states that everyone is equal before the law, without distinction of any kind. Equal situations should be treated equally, and unequal circumstances should be viewed unequally.

Principle of the presumption of innocence

The principle of the presumption of innocence or non-guilty implies that no one will be found guilty until the trial proving guilt is completed and there are no further appeals. Only after this process can the penalty be applied to the defendant.

Criminal law for contests

As we mentioned, Criminal Law is one of the most demanded topics in the Bar Examination and in public tenders in the security area. After all, he is one of the pillars of Law, acting directly in our coexistence and security as individuals of the same society.

The points discussed here form a brief and short summary of this subject, which is extremely extensive, specific and with many details that need to be well absorbed by anyone who wants to take a public service exam and assume a public position.

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