How to Write a Case Study in Criminal Justice – We Promise That It Can Be As Easy As a Pie

Writing guide
Posted on June 23, 2020

If you also love criminal law as we love it, then already at this stage we can promise you that you will not have any global problems with writing a case study. Those who have ever studied jurisprudence know that there is nothing more interesting than delving into the law, finding violations of the law by those who create these laws, analyzing the totality of precedents and seeking justice. By the way, you will have to do all these actions on the way to completing your case study and getting a good grade, and we will tell you how to do it easily, excitingly, without loss of inspiration and with great benefit to replenish the scientific baggage of your knowledge.

What This Science on Crime and Punishment Can Offer You

Limitless opportunities for research and development of your internal lawyer – this is what science can offer to a student. Do you know what is most interesting in the context of the need to write a case study on criminal law? Unfortunately, criminal law of all times and peoples is sometimes unfair, which means that you have cool opportunities to look for problems and offer your personal solutions that will be more balanced, fair and justified. We are sure that you are already inspired by the perspective, so let’s get started.

Pick an Interesting Topic

So in order for the writing process to be easy and interesting, you need to choose an interesting topic. And here is good news at once – if your professor allowed you to choose a case on your own, then you are not limited by the framework of the criminal law of only that country whose laws you are studying. Use the opportunity if you are a foreign student. Thus, you will be able to show not only excellent knowledge of criminal law but also the ability to analyze large volumes of information, as well as your openness to new and maybe even little difficult challenges.

When choosing a topic yourself, be especially careful. Most likely you need to choose a specific precedent in criminal practice and carefully analyze it. Try to find the middle ground between mega-popular court decisions and something unknown to anyone. In the first case, it will be difficult for you to say something new, and in the second you will not be able to find enough science materials to support your analysis and argumentation.

We recommend that you choose what will be of interest to you. For example, if you are interested in economic crime, then choose something related to stock market fraud or something like that. If you like family law, then you can talk about women’s rights, domestic violence. Just do not touch abortion – this topic is on the verge of criminal law and ethics, so you run the risk of provoking discussions. And your task at the moment is different.

Well, if your professor himself told you what case you need to investigate and analyze, this is also good. At the very least, you do not need to take responsibility for choosing a topic. However, this does not cancel your responsibility for a good result, in fact, for this, we wrote this guide.

The Structure of the Case Study

Do you think there are any differences between the usual five-paragraph title essay and the case study? Of course, there are differences. Now we will explain to you in more detail. However, do not forget that the basic rules remain valid – you need a thorough analysis of the sources, the correct design of the sources, a clear structure, your personal thoughts, plus a thorough check at the end of the work. So, what should be in your case study in criminal proceedings?


Suppose you have chosen a specific case in criminal practice. The first thing you should pay attention to is the background of this case. Here you can analyze the political and economic reality, the current development of criminal law at the given moment, and other factors that could potentially have an impact on the development of the case that you are analyzing within your case study.

Main Characters

Next, go to the main characters. In the case of the criminal process, these will be people, possibly enterprises, as well as legislative bodies and their actions in the framework of a specific case. In general, describing the case study characters, you can write about the same thing as you wrote for background and analyze some prerequisites that led to the development of a certain event, not only from the standpoint of external factors but from the position of the main characters in the situation.


Now you need to analyze the problem. You have already seen the background and the main characters, and most likely, the idea of the problem is already appearing in your head. Do not be surprised if you see several problems – it will only be better for the quality of your case study. Plus, it will help you do a comprehensive but not one-sided analysis. So, feel free to look for problems, do not be afraid to look inside and look for deep reasons – at the end of the analysis of this section you can always remove unnecessary or non-existent problems and save only key points.
The Decision Taken

The solution is what became the final point of your case study. In the case of the criminal process, this is the decision of the criminal court in a particular situation. You need to analyze this solution very carefully and look at it with different eyes. Do not be afraid to look for weaknesses, cases of abuse of power, precedents for breaking the law during a court decision. All this will help you write the next section when you need to offer the best solution on your own.


Here you need to say what results were achieved due to the decision. Perhaps this was illegal imprisonment or vice versa, the court did not take into account too many important evidence and therefore the sentence was too lenient. All this is important for a comprehensive understanding of the essence of the matter, and when you get to the bottom it will be very easy for you to develop your thesis statement.

By the way, yes, we recommend doing just that. First, analyze all the points that we describe here, and then write them down on paper. At that stage, you may not even worry too much about the structure, then we will do everything as logical as possible. At this stage, recording your thoughts will help you see a strong thesis among them.

The Possible Solution

This is where your analytical and creative work begins. You have already found weaknesses in the process, identified the problem, analyzed the results, which can be good and not very good. Now your task is to offer your own solution.

Just keep in mind that it cannot be based on your personal opinion. The phrase ‘This is fair’ or ‘This is unfair’ does not apply here. A thorough analysis of the scientific literature and legislative sources, a detailed analysis of precedents is needed here. Only on this strong basis can you offer a more optimal solution, plus prove that your decision is no worse than the one already taken in the case. Therefore, let’s move on to an analysis of our sources.

Sources You Need to Analyze

So, in the case of the case study on the criminal process, you must rely on two types of sources. These are legislative acts, as well as scientific materials that also analyze your case. Let’s figure it out in order.

If you work within the framework of the Anglo-American legal system, then you know that the entire legal system is built on precedents. In this case, the precedent will be your main source of information, moreover, it will be the primary source. Fortunately, now you no longer need to delve into the dusty archives to find the right document, just find it in Google in free access. If you chose a balanced topic, then you will find a precedent without difficulty.

Now proceed to a careful analysis and reading of the precedent. The best life hack is to print it on paper and start reading. Immediately take a pen or colored felt-tip pen and underline all the points that seem important to you.

Remember our case study structure? Note in order everything that concerns background, acting heroes, follow the thoughts of the judicial authority – you also have to find weaknesses both in the process itself and in the process of making a final court decision. Pay attention to how balanced it is, what legislative acts the judge relies on, how applicable they are in this case, what the jury thinks, why they think so, what could convince them.

In other words, ask yourself as many questions as you can and look for answers in your use case. If you do this voluminous work, you will already receive a million tips about what to write in your paper.

Scientific Articles

The original sources are very good, but now you will need to reinforce your opinion with scientific research. To do this, you need to find as many scientific articles as possible that work with the legal case that you are analyzing. Work with articles as follows.

Read the article and immediately try to notice from the very beginning the thoughts, arguments, and proofs of the author. In this case, you can take notes electronically so as not to use too much paper.

Find at least four suitable articles and break them into pieces this way.
Now that you have a strong analysis of precedent and scientific sources, you get a full picture. All that remains for you is to simply write the result in the correct order, and once again check that everything was done correctly.

The Writing Process

So, as we said, at this stage you have the full right to start writing your paper. And by the way, at the moment you can write in any order. Just start expressing your thoughts in the order in which they start from your head. Then it will be easy for you to make them more logical and consistent. And the bulk of the work will already be done. But still, let’s take another look at the correct structure.


Here you need to briefly talk about your topic and put your thesis statement. If you still cannot sound it beautifully, it doesn’t matter – postpone the thesis for later. When the work is ready, the words will form a thesis by themselves.

Main Part

Here you need to return to the structure of the case study about which we spoke and write down all your thoughts sequentially. Make sure that one paragraph reflects one completed thought. For example, if you started writing about the background, then do not start writing about the heroes in this paragraph – start a new one.


And here everything is also very simple. Just summarize your thoughts, and by the way, do not forget to return to the thesis if you have not yet developed it.

Well, now you agree that the case study under criminal law is easy and fun, but not difficult and boring. We have done everything possible to lead you along this path by the hand, and now, being in complete confidence that you will manage, we are waiting for excellent results from you.

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