The Department of Justice of the United States

The Department of Justice of the United States

The Department of Justice of the United States

The Department of Justice of the United States

Excerpt

Jurisprudence recognizes the clear distinction between substantive and adjective law. The former has to, do with the statement of legal rights and duties; the latter with the means through which these rights and duties are determined and enforced. Adjective law is thus administrative law, using that term to designate the legal rules governing the manner in which a government is organized and conducted for the performance of its tasks. The judicial system of a country may be defective because its substantive law is unsatisfactory, because the adjective law is faulty, or because the adjective law is improperly administered. This adjective law concerning the administration of justice has to do with two distinct subjects: the organization and administration of the services within the executive or administrative branch of the government having for their function the prevention of infractions of the law and the detection and prosecution of those guilty of such infractions; and the organization and procedure of the judicial tribunals, constituting the judicial branch of the government, having the function of adjudicating the matters so brought before them by the law enforcement officers of the executive branch or private individuals who believe that their rights have been violated.

The present study is one falling wholly in the first of these fields of adjective law. It seeks to trace the rise and development of the central agency that has been created by the national government for the performance of its task of enforcing the law for which the national government is responsible, and to describe the present organization, powers, and duties of that agency. Though the Department of Justice is the central, and much the most important, of the law enforcement agencies of the national government, it is by no means the only one. All of the departments have large responsibilities for the enforcement of laws governing matters coming under their jurisdiction. In a number of the other departments there are, moreover, important special services for the detection of the infraction of particular laws. In some cases the Department of Justice is exclusively responsible for both the detec-

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