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Criminal Law

A guide providing an introduction to Criminal Law, relevant texts and treatises, and potential issues.


Criminal law (or penal law) covers offenses against individuals and the community; regulates how suspects are investigated, charged and tried; and establishes punishments for convicted offenders. In the broadest sense, criminal law covers three different fields: (1) the substantive criminal law, (2) criminal procedure, and (3) the administration and enforcement of criminal justice. The term ‘criminal law’ is most commonly used to indicate the field of substantive criminal law.

Research Guides

Criminal Justice: A Pathfinder to Legal Materials (Law Library, Rutgers School of Law - Newark) 
Criminal Law: An Overview (Cornell Legal Information Institute)
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