Disclaimer: This essay has been written by a law student and not by our expert law writers. View examples of our professional work here.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of LawTeacher.net. You should not treat any information in this essay as being authoritative.

Comparison of the Criminal Justice Systems of France and USA

Info: 1320 words (5 pages) Essay
Published: 20th Oct 2021

Reference this

Jurisdiction / Tag(s): US Law

In today's world there is a big horizon of criminalism and how the legal system works. Most have similar approaches to each other legal systems and some that are unique for their own nation. For both there are connections and I will scrutinize the differences between France and the U.S. legal systems. Some angles that I am focusing on are about the police, courts, legitimate calling, lawful instruction, the law of criminal procedure, amendments, global adolescent and the interests and issues of each.

The policing in France is a big deal and is followed with many rules, having very different procedures than the U.S. . The divided police model found in the U.S. is publicly acknowledged to the idea of concentrating on police forcing citizens through the government which is basically police officers. This processes focuses on the divided police model. In France, the accentuation has been on building up police powers that are managed, and run by the national government (Terrill 212). This gives a bit of wiggle room because there are no similar laws throughout the nation. Another difference in policing is the work life of a police officer. In the United States, all those who volunteer begin on the patrol team before moving up to a higher position. Getting a college education isn't important or required to moving up to a higher position, and getting hired requires no education . Today 83 percent of all nearby police divisions require at any rate a secondary school recognition, and 8 percent require a degree from a multi-year school (Gaines and Miller 174).

In France there is a four-layered section plan which is similar to getting a bachelor's degree in the U.S. After the section plan they turn into a watch official, however, just with a degree and a lot of tutoring, you can easily get dressed as an official, which is compared to a lieutenant or head of police in the U.S.. The staggered passageway plot empowers the police to tap the innovative assets of the college graduate (Terrill 224). The barrier of this idea is that their are watch officials without a degree that could be knowledged and prepared as a dressed official, but not having the opportunity to rank as fast as those with a degree.

Another difference between these two countries is their court structure. The French don't rehearse a legal survey. The United States, and the Supreme Court have laws and rights to anyone being a defendant in court having the same equal rights. This sort of legal survey isn't drilled in France (Terrill 232). In France they follow the Constitutional board that has nine people serving longer than a year. They are responsible for political decisions and the passing made in parliament. Our Supreme Court has a better flexible term than the Constitutional

Council that gives our country secured and fewer laws that don't ratify each other.

In France it is pretty interesting on how a person can become a judge. It's a bit simple from just getting a college degree in law school. After law school, you admit yourself to the National School for the Judiciary at Bordeaux (Terrill 236). After being admitted and graduating from the Judiciary at Bordeaux they can become a judge. In France the system differs from the U.S. letting young, inexperienced people become a judge early, whereas in the U.S. they must be experienced and matured before becoming a judge. This gives the idea of being a judge more confidence to society to not question their government officials.

The steps to becoming a government official in France is different than America. In France, understudies enter college when they are around 18 years of age after they have finished their secondary school instruction with an honor of the baccalaureate recognition (Terrill 242).

Before becoming a judge in America they have to go to graduate school and pass the exam in law school to earn a degree. In my opinion, it is better that way because it is a big responsibility becoming a judge and having the education gives better qualities to those that have had the learning. In France they start earlier which is risky due to the fact of lack of experience and understanding to the law.

Another big difference is the criminal procedural taken in both nations. France follows the Code of Criminal Procedure, which determines the way they approach the case of a suspect and how they should handle it. In the United States everything must be followed by the constitution which gives all the states a better understanding and organized system. In America the court system is very high on equal rights. Every defendant and suspect has the same rights and should recieve equal fair treatment. In France there is no legal system so that just makes it harder on who to convict. Some may be convicted just for their opinion. It lays on the conviction that it is increasingly attractive for society that ninety-nine suspects go free than that a solitary blameless individual be denounced (Gaines and Miller 20). France not having a legal system is something that needs to be changed and should be followed with every individual having equal rights like in the U.S.

The way jails are operated in France is a huge contrast than the way they handle them in America. In France there are three sections dividing them into facilities, organizations, and penitentiaries. That's not really dividing prisoners but they believe that's a better system. In the United States it's divided between least, medium, high and max. Meaning every prisoner belongs in a certain prison and should belong where how serious the crime is. Also France is not really good with the sizes of their facilities. There's a lot of overcrowding and it being congested in the jails. French prisons were initially intended to oblige 20 to 40 detainees, and the cells were initially intended for single inhabitants (Terrill 272). Having too much overcrowding can lead to serious dangerous issues. Putting 2 to 3 in a cell is somewhat regular but can also lead to no prisoner ever having good behavior. The prisons are cruel, which it should be, but it should also be managed and organized correctly.

Adolescence is another big difference between the two. There are some similarities but focusing on age is different. In France they believe at 18 you are fully an adult. Before 18 you are still young and your mind is maturing. In America, they believe ages between 10-15 are somewhat considered an adult. In some states they don't even have an age limit. France believes that if convicted before 18 there will still be a punishment but not as severe. Just something to where they will learn their lesson and hopefully understand their wrongdoing.

In conclusion, both nations have unique ways of running their criminal justice systems. There are similarities but there are also many contrasts. They both seem to have everything handled well and still going. Should France consider maybe following some of the systems we have in America, that's a thought. Maybe if the two just went on how every individual feels about the criminal justice system it could improve very well. France has a nation that is believed to be independent and whatever they choose is their system and that the people living their don't really have written down rights. While in the U.S. everything is written and documented to where there will never be confusion on what's legal and illegal.


Hodgson, J. (2005). French criminal justice: a comparative account of the investigation and prosecution of crime in France. Oxford: Hart.

Horton, C. (1995). Policing policy in France. London: Policy Studies Institute.

Neubauer, D. W., & Fradella, H. F. (2019). America's courts and the criminal justice system (12th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

Related Content

Jurisdictions / Tags

Content relating to: "US Law"

This selection of law essays, problem questions and case summaries is relevant to students within the US and for law students from outside the country wishing to learn more about the laws and legislature of the USA.

Related Articles

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on LawTeacher.net then please: