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Concept of crime in the administration of penal justice in Nigeria: an appraisal

A.A. Isiaka
Ejike Francis Okaphor


There are various definitions of crime from the perspectives of moralists, libertarians, positivists, etc. This research covers Criminal Code, Penal Code as well as Shariah Penal Code. The doctrinal method of research was adopted to analytically study the concept of crime. It was found that the moralist sees crime from the perspectives of morality. The libertarian views crime from the perspective of any act that restricts the liberty of citizen. On the other hand, the positivist holds the view that crime is whatever act or omission the ruler of the day prescribed by a threat of penal consequences. It was found that the view of the libertarians, also called the utilitarian view, dominated western jurisprudence while the positivist views pervade modern thinking in both the domestic and international arena. It was finally discovered that the uniqueness of the different views is that crimes must attract punishment for its breach. It is submitted that crime is a human conduct that is proscribed with penal consequences that may give rise to criminal proceedings and criminal punishment2.

Keywords: Analysis, Appraisal, Crimes, Libertarian, Moralist, Positivist