Are social harms always considered as crime?
To consider the question regarding all social harms being crimes we must first establish what is meant by both crime and social harm and also identify similarities and entanglements. This essay will attempt to establish the connection or entanglement between social harm and crime by referring to some topical examples which have achieved both national and international publicity and examination.
Generally a crime is considered to be an act or omission (deliberate or unintended) which constitutes an offence under existing National and/or International law.
Social harm is not so easily defined because of the wide ranging aspects it covers. However we could consider it to be the endangerment/damage (fair /unfair), exploitation of and neglect to individuals/groups and accepted norms of society. This comes under the broad umbrella of Social Justice and there are numerous examples of entanglement between what is termed a social harm and what is considered as a crime. The key word here, being ‘Justice,’ and it is some of these I will be looking at.
So, we see from these definitions they both relate to unfair/unjust actions by one or more individuals which create a problem and/or imbalance in what is acceptable to normal society. There has to be flexibility in stating that all social harms are crimes due to the fact that from an international perspective, there are differences in what actions or omissions are defined as crime in some countries as opposed to others. However, the basic principles of justice and equality are the same in all cases, how they are interpreted may be different.
As we can see from the introduction, crimes can be reasonably easy to identify as they are established, in writing, by law. Social harms or injustices, while not in themselves specified directly by law, can result in or be connected to actions which are identified as criminal.
Take, for example, the widely publicised event of Hurricane...