Criminology versus Criminal Justice


Criminology is an interdisciplinary science. It involves behavioral and biological sciences such as Anthropology, Biology, Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Psychiatry, and Political science. It also includes the police sciences such as Criminal law, public administration, victimology, ethics, and penology.

The main focus of criminology is the study of human behavior.


The term Criminology is proposed by an Italian Professor of law “Raffaele Garofalo” as Criminologia. After that, a French Anthropologist “Paul Topinard” used the analogous French term Criminologie.


The term Criminology is defined as

According to Law Lexicon

“Criminology is the study of crime, its nature, its causes, its detection, and prevention.”

According to Dr. Kenny

“Criminology is the branch of criminal science that deals with the causes of crime, analysis, and prevention of crime.”

Relationship between Crime, Criminology & Criminal law

Criminology and Criminal law are interlinked and interrelated to each other. Criminology deals with the psychology of law and criminal law deal with the crime itself. Let’s elaborate on this fact with the help of an example.

Dilawar is 23 years old. He is arrested for murdering a 15-year-old boy over a minor fight.  He is governed by the various provisions given under the criminal law. But, what triggered him to commit such a shameful crime and how Men’s rea (mental situation to commit the crime) was developed in his mind. What were the circumstances and situations that provoked him to commit such a crime?

These things can only be studied with the help of criminology.

1. Crime

Crime is anything that is forbidden by the appropriate criminal statute of any country. 

Crime is an unlawful activity that is committed by a person against the interests of the public or society. The person who commits the crime is liable to punishment by law according to the nature of the crime committed.

The act of crime is liable to legal punishment. It can include criminal codes, administrative codes, and also administrative punishments.

To read more about Crime, click HERE.

2. Criminology

The word criminology is composed of two words, ‘crim’ and ‘ology’. ‘Crim’ means crime whereas ‘ology’ stands for study. So, criminology means the study of crime.

Criminology is a discipline that analyses and gathers data on crime and criminal behavior. Criminology is such a fascinating subject that includes the scientific principles to assess criminal behavior and the psychology behind it.

The basic aim of criminology

The basic aim of criminology is to assess the very nature of the crime, statistics of crime, criminal behavior that motivates the person to commit a crime, and the prevention of crimes.

Objectives of criminology

The basic objective of criminology is to provide a codified, organized, and structural subject. It tries to find the causes of crimes. After that, it ultimately provides ways and remedies for how the crimes can be reduced or eradicated.

Branches of criminology

Criminology is further specified into three branches.

  1. Sociology deals with the social aspect of the crimes
  2. Criminal Aetiology deals with the causation of crimes
  3. Penology deals with the mechanism of prevention of crimes. 

Criminology is a social science

Criminology is a social science or an art. The reason is that, unlike other sciences, it does not work on fixed or universally defined principles. There is not any proper theory that can be given regarding criminology. 

3. Criminal Law

Criminal law is a collection of principles, legally defined guidelines, or codes of law that are passed by the political authority of any country for the betterment of the people. The criminal law applies equally to all the members of the society without any prejudicial differences.

These are clear legal sanctions that prevent any person to commit any sort of crime.

Characteristics of criminal law

The characteristics of criminal law are  following

  •  Criminal law is just a system of coding principles.
  • It prevents individuals from committing crimes.

How criminal law differs from other laws

The difference between criminal law and other laws is not obvious. Punishments of various sorts are given to the offenders in the criminal law. Violators of principles of the criminal statute of any country are liable to fines and have to suffer appropriate punishments too. 


Criminology is the scientific study of nature, extent, causes, consequences, and prevention of criminal behavior on the individual as well as social levels.

There are symbiotic relationships between criminology and criminal law. Both are also tremendously dependent on each other. 

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