Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It proscribes conduct perceived as threatening, harmful, or otherwise endangering to the property, health, safety, and moral welfare of people. Most criminal law is established by statute, which is to say that the laws are enacted by a legislature. It includes the punishment of people who violate these laws. Criminal law varies according to jurisdiction, and differs from civil law, where emphasis is more on dispute resolution and victim compensation than on punishment. Criminal procedure is formalized official activity that authenticates the fact of commission of a crime and authorizes punitive treatment of the offender. These are at best core definitions; they do not comprehend all legal systems, all stages in the development of a legal system, or all elements within a given legal system.
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