Court History and Purpose Essay

872 Words Jan 16th, 2013 4 Pages

November 27, 2012


Court History and Purpose

People in the United States attend court every day for different many reasons. Those reasons could be for traffic violations, civil law suits, or for unlawful criminal acts. No matter what they are all handled and disputed in a court of law. Courts are empowered to make fair and binding decisions upon the facts that are received. There are two types of courts; civil court and criminal court. It is very important that people understand and know the differences between civil and criminal courts. Civil courts handle resolutions between private parties and usually consist of one party suing the other for some type of monetary damages. Criminal
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The law has been around for decades and hopefully will continue on into the millennia. Law or legal code dates back as far as the Roman Empire. A committee of ten men was established in 451 BCE to write down the law and in 449 BCE the 12 Tables became to exist (School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California at Berkeley, 2012). This paved the way for many changes. With this came the Code of Hammurabi. This was probably the earliest, according to history, known written early legal codes. Despite their shortcomings and harsh character, these early legal codes are important because they signaled the emergence of formalized law (Siegel, Schmalleger, & Worrall, p. 8, 2011). As time progressed and new conquests where made, it was time to set certain laws in stone. Common law was written and established by England from past customs, traditions, and precedent. Precedent set the standards of judges where aloud to go back to a previous decision from an earlier case to help them render a verdict of their current case. Common law and precedent are still practiced today in England and the United States.
The roles of the courts are important to the study of criminal justice for two key reasons: adjudication and oversight (Siegel, Schmalleger, & Worrall, p. 12, 2011). Meaning that the purpose of adjudication is to decide who will be accountable for the illegal actions that the criminal performed. The roles in the justice system in the U.S. assist three

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