Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Comparing Criminal Justice Systems: US and China

Comparing Criminal Justice Systems: US and China The two criminal justice systems that shall be discussed in this paper are those of the United States and that of the Peoples Republic of China. When comparing and contrasting these two systems one should start with the premise that both are instituted in their countries in the attempt to curb the proliferation of crime, apprehend offenders and deter potential offenders. Both the U.S. and Chinas criminal justice systems make use of a court system, police enforcement organizations and detention/correctional facilities. However this is as much as similarities go as the two systems are radically different since they are based on ideologically opposing government structures. The U.S government is based on a free market capitalist economy supported by a representative democracy. On the other hand that of China is founded on a social communist ideology. As for demographic figures, the U.S. has roughly 355 million citizens while China has well over one billion, which makes up one fourth of the world population. Klaus MÃ ¼hlhahn (2009), in his book Criminal Justice in China, states that Peoples Republic of China (P.R.C.) was founded in 1949 under a socialist rulership. From that point onwards a push was made to establish basic legislation with regards the administration of the criminal justice and enforced nationwide. The U.S. government is hierarchally based on a unified organization where power is shared between the federal and state governments. Therefore this means that the political system secures autonomy of each state in the U.S. but at the same time adopting a centralized government (Gaines and Miller, 2006). The U.S. justice system is derived from the British common law tradition. Common law is the law that is agreed upon by the common people and exists in two forms, Lex Scripta (written law) and Lex non Scripta (unwritten law). On the other hand MÃ ¼hlhahn (2009), says that the Chinese justice system is quite difficult to put under one unitary system. This is due to the fact that the Chinese criminal justice system was repeatedly reorganized in the wake of political changes and internal party disputes since 1949, when the communist party took over. MÃ ¼hlhahn (2009) also notes that the Chinese justice system under socialism is not an independent administrative system but was integrated into a network of social control and political mobilization. The Chinese Criminal Law is based on the ideological precepts of Marxism, Leninism and Mao Zedong. Its tasks are to use punishments to resist against all revolutionary or criminal behaviour, for the sake of protecting the Chinese autocracy. Gaines and Miller (2006) explain that the police forces of the United States are the successors of Militias originally instituted in the early colonies to protect the population and control the Native Americans. The different forming States developed their own security forces and these operated autonomously. Major cities instituted their own police forces, which function under the control of a city government (Gaines and Miller, 2006). According to Gaines and Miller (2006) Currently the U.S. police forces are structured on local/city/county and federal/state levels, thus having a federal system. All local policing duties are shared between local municipalities and rural localities. Cities, towns and villages are able to institute their own police forces, while others, usually rural localities, rely on a county Sheriffs department for the task of enforcement and policing. Usually the size of police forces in the U.S. is directly proportional to the population of the area being controlled. The 50 States forming the U.S. also have their own police forces that are ascribed to different regions and often patrol undeveloped rural areas. The job of such agencies include investigating crimes against the state such as alcohol licensing violations or welfare fraud, fish and game violations, and highway traffic infractions (Gaines and Miller, 2006). According to a statistic of the U.S. Department of Justice (2008), on average the ratio of police to population in the U.S. is about 2.3 officers per thousand residents, however larger cities generate grater ratios. This police force ratio has stayed fixed around 2.21-2.34 police officers per 1000 civilian population for nearly 30 years. Next up on the U.S. hierarchal police system is the Federal Governments police force that subdivided into various other agencies (Gaines and Miller, 2006). There is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is independent of any administration. The F.B.I. intervenes when federal laws are infringed, an interstate crime is committed, or if national security is threatened. However the last case scenario has been taken over by the Department of Homeland Security established after the attacks of September 11th 2001. The U.S. has about 20 federal law enforcement agencies, which also include the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, Postal Inspection Service and U.S. Marshals Service. Further more there exist the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Treasury Department, the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm Agency and the Immigration and Naturalization Services handle illegal immigrants while the U.S. Customs officials deal with border infringements. However this specia lization of the different policing agencies has its drawbacks. Problems can arise due to jurisdictional issues, when what one should really take care of is the upholding and maintenance of the law (Gaines and Miller, 2006). According to MÃ ¼hlhahn (2009) the P.R.C. employs around 2 million police officers, of which most work is small offices that serve communities of roughly 10,000 citizens. The main policing agency in the P.R.C. is the Peoples Armed Police (PAP), which includes about 700,000 officers. This agency was instituted in 1983 and was formed by incorporating disbanded units of the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) on domestic defence duty and armed frontier defence and fire fighting. The rise of the PAP shows how Chinese leadership is more concerned with domestic security than it is with foreign threats (MÃ ¼hlhahn, 2009). The PAPs main task is to deal with domestic disturbances, by acting as riot police, guarding government compounds and also foreign embassies. It usually handles border defence but in some cases it is requested to back up local police. Recently it has been employed to suppress anti-government protests. The Public Security Service (PSB) is both a local police and the Chinese equivalent of the Secret Service in the U.S. The P.R.C. justice system also employs paramilitary armed police and more than 1 million security guards. Quasi-police force known as cheng guan also operates in China (MÃ ¼hlhahn, 2009). These carry out tasks deemed unpopular by the citizens, such as collecting fines and tax money, often these are just thugs hired by the official police to carry out such tasks. The Chinese government introduced a new special unit in December 2008, to counter gun-related crimes and organized crime such as gambling rackets, organized prostitution, drug production and trafficking. By 2009 Chinas public security budget was increased by nearly a third, to $4.2 billion partly to tackle internal stresses related to the unrest in Tibet and western China. Also this increment in the public security budget came about as a result to unrest brought about by unemployed workers and other problems related to the global economic crisis (MÃ ¼hlhahn, 2009). In the past, police forces in the U.S. have been accused of corruption and the Good-Old Boy network of hiring practices. Also in recent years charges of racism, racial profiling, and use of excessive force have been reported by citizens and related organizations (Gaines and Miller, 2006). In China family members of victims of crime have often been criticised police for their incompetence and reluctance to make sensible effort towards solving cases that affect them. Another criticism directed to Chinese police forces is that these have a reputation for being corrupt and connected to smuggling. Also citizens, particularly in rural areas, regard these with suspicion. Chinese police have traditionally been more involved in maintaining government control than solving crimes, and this is directly related with Chinas political ideology. (MÃ ¼hlhahn, 2009). As for the US court system, this is a dual judiciary system, of which the two constituent parts (federal and state) function independent of each other. The federal judiciary system includes district courts, circuit courts of appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. The state system includes trial courts at the local and state levels, intermediate courts of appeal, and state Supreme Court (Gaines and Miller, 2006). The primary agents working along each other are the judge, prosecutor, and defence lawyers in the U.S. system. The U.S. law is derived from four main sources, which are constitutional law, statutory law, administrative regulations, and the common law (Gaines and Miller, 2006). The most important source of law is the United States Constitution, under which all other laws fall. No law can contradict the U.S. Constitution. As already stated the U.S. follows the principles of Common law that were inherited from English jurisprudence. This tradition holds that a decision taken in court is always made on the principle of precedent. This means that each case previously resolved serves as reference and guide for new cases. New aspects of law may be determined or discovered and thus a precedent arises. The U.S. justice system allows for presumption of innocence until proven guilty, plea-bargaining, trial by jury, and the right to a quick trial (Gaines and Miller, 2006). These features compose the U.S. justice system which is flexible and according to Gaines and Miller (2006) caters for the citizens ne eds in a batter way. Chinese Law is based on the Constitution, of which Article 28 declares: The State maintains public order and suppresses treasonable and other counter-revolutionary activities; it penalizes acts that endanger public security and disrupt the socialist economy and other criminal activities, and punishes and reforms criminals. According to an article by Jeffrey Hays (2008), the main task of the Chinese justice system has fundamentally always been to protect the interests of the state rather than the individual and to keep the population under control. There is no independent judiciary in China and courts are regarded as weak and subordinate to the Communist Party and the National Peoples Congress. The court system of the P.R.C. is divided into two types, Courts of General Jurisdiction and Courts of Special Jurisdiction. The first type consists of the Supreme Peoples Court and the local peoples courts. The second type includes courts of the first instance, intermediate courts that handle important local cases for the first instance and hear appeal cases from the basic courts and the high peoples court responsible for issues of provincial level. As for Courts of Special Jurisdiction there exist the Military Court of China, Railway Transport Court of China and Maritime Court of China (Hays, 2008), According to Hays (2008) Unlike in their U.S. counterparts, in Chinese courts unlawfully obtained evidence is not excluded in court and an accused person has no right to remain silent but has the duty towards the state to speak, often after administration of corporal punishment. According to Amnesty International, when the Criminal Procedure Law was revised and promulgated in 1996, commentators pointed to various articles, which although did not explicitly state that suspects were to be presumed innocent, when taken in unison the presumption of innocence could be inferred. The penal system of the U.S., like the judicial system, branches into federal, state and local levels. The prison system is supported by governmental funds, in the form of tax revenue from federal (corporate income), state (sales) and local (taxes) revenues. Is also receives funding through Inter-governmental transfer, in the form of federal grants and state grants. Gaines and Miller (2006) sentencing within the US judiciary system are considerably lengthier than those of other western countries and many states have endorsed a three strikes system which forces the judiciary to sentence a suspect to a life term in the case of a third offence (Gaines and Miller, 2006). The USs penal system has a huge problem because of overpopulation of convicts and thus in order to counter this many states have resorted to the privatisation of prisons. Other problems include the imprisonment of the criminally insane, increase of sexual offenders, dangerous offenders, gangs and drug smuggling in the pr isons. The aim of the penal system in China is to reform criminals, however this is carried out by means which in the west one might deem unacceptable. The USs penal system on the other hand is instituted to punish the criminal and protect the public. Both systems endorse capital punishment as their most extreme sanction and such actions have roused many heated debates within modern human rights exponents. Differences of Standard Profit and Actual Profit: Case Study Differences of Standard Profit and Actual Profit: Case Study Incognitos latest costume set is Meridas outfit in the Disney Pixar film Brave that sold through internet. The purpose of this report is to analyse and compare the differences of standard profit and actual profit. All calculations are available in the appendices. 1.1 Absorption Costing System Absorption costing system is used to cost Merida. It recognizes the importance of absorbing the fixed overhead on valuation of stock in calculating profit as fixed overhead is essential to incur to make product. All fixed and variable production cost is included in stock valuation in absorption costing while, marginal costing only include variable production cost in stock valuation5. It allocates portion of fixed manufacturing overhead to each unit of product and hence, it will be brought forward to next period in the closing stock5. Also, it avoids fictitious losses being reported. For instance, a company produces more on first few months to cater the sales for the next few months. In absorption costing, fixed production cost will only be expensed off when it is sold. While, marginal costing would expensed it off when it is incurred that may cause a huge losses at the beginning. The absorption of fixed overhead in stock valuation helps prices to be set with full knowledge of all costs. This is useful for decision making and preparing financial accounts. Additionally, absorption costing system is consistent with external reporting5. 2 1.2 Variance Analysis Standard costing is predetermined costs that assist in budget preparation and decision-making. It allows profit measurement and inventory valuation purposes. The variance analysis is applied to explain the deviations in the actual results from budgeted amounts8. The results of variance analysis is attributes to different elements such as material, labour, variable overhead and fixed overhead. These would provide a better understanding of the business performance and aware of any changes in the organization, economy, or sector. The variances might due to several reasons. This variance analysis segregates total variance into different element such as price and efficiency8. This sub-decomposition would provide more detail in explaining the deviations. It helps in performance evaluation that could motivate managers and identify areas of concern that enables managers to focus on the most critical areas8. It seeks explanation for variances and helps in planning activity by identifying the necessary early corrective action to be taken depending whether variance is favourable or adverse8. It would allow manager to generate more informed future predictions. Therefore, it acts as measurement system and controlling tool to supervise the progress of a project and controlling of future cost by understanding the present costs9. Key findings of the variance analysis 2.1 Possible reason of variances The most critical areas are adverse variances especially those with significant figures. The adverse variance of sales margin price might due to overestimation of standard selling price; higher quantity discount given by sales manager that result to lower actual selling price or bad response of the product that influences management to decide to lower the selling price. Adverse sales margin volume variance may due to overestimation of budgeted sales that is set without careful analysis of market condition. Also, inefficient sales force such as failure in advertisement (marketing) effort or customer dissatisfaction because of poor quality of costumes. Although the decrease in selling price by $4 should reflect an increment in sales volume, however, in this case, it is shown as adverse sales volume which might due to economic downturn as what happen to unexpected sales drop of Hennes Maurit (Fashion retailer) by 5% during Euro zone crisis6. The purchasing power of consumer will drop. Hence, despite the drop in selling price, the sales volume will decrease. Another possible reason for adverse sales price and volume is the escalating market competition in internet of selling childrens costume that affects both the sales price and volume to decrease by 4 and 190 units respectively. Adverse material price variance (Velour fabric and Metal poppers) may due to management careless in purchasing a batch of material with a higher cost without realizing it, ; general increase in price of the material (inflation) or the used of the improved quality of the material. Moreover, it can due to underestimation of material standard price; losing bulk discount as less has been purchased or inefficiency of purchasing manager in price negotiation9. The adverse material usage variances (Satin fabric, Polyester yarn and Velcro) may due to mistake by production department in allocating materials to jobs which causes wastage. Excessive usage may due to excessive wastage of materials by untrain workers, faulty machines, poor supervision or theft existence. Furthermore, purchasing department may obtain inferior materials where it may be unsuitable for use and causes excessive waste9. Also, it may have stricter quality control where, if any material does not meet certain standards in terms quality would be eliminated2. The adverse labour rate for skilled and unskilled labour may due to inflation or increase pressure by labour union for salary increment. Also, it may be the management strategy to increase workers morale by increasing the pay so to improve worker efficiency as where it is reflected on favourable efficiency of unskilled labour. There may be also payment of unplanned overtime or bonus where it has to pay more2. The adverse labour efficiency of skilled labour may due to error where the standard time were set too tight without careful analysis of operating condition and the employee skills4 or human resource error in employing inexperienced skilled worker and yet still paying high wages of the skilled worker2. Moreover, the usage of inferior quality material that leads to inefficiency where more time is needed to produce each costume2. Additionally, this adverse can result by poorly trained or motivated workers which require more time in processing; faulty equipment causing work interruptions; inefficient work schedule and poor supervision of workers2. Adverse variable overhead rate variance may due to underestimation of the rate by management. While adverse variable overhead efficiency variance, may due to adverse figure presented in skilled labour efficiency. The lower productivity causes more time needed for production. The possibility of factory breakdown causes variable overhead to increase, as a day production is lost. The adverse fixed overhead variance for supervisor and utilities may due to the general increase in market price due to inflation. This inflation resulted to escalated living expenses and hence, a pay increment for supervisor is necessary. While utilities, the possibility for wastage of electricity and water when machinery faulty or equivalent. Although the hiring of skilled labour should result to a favourable labour efficiency variance, this adverse variance is possibly due to insufficient demand to keep the workers busy. Hence, production is reduced from 7,500 to 7380 units due to just-in-time principle. Since workforce is fixed, skilled labour would need to produce less costume, and hence causes inefficient in work as they have more idle time, resulting to the rise of labour hours needed per costume from 1.25 to 1.5 hours. The adverse variance of postage and packaging may due to general increase of international shipping. Measure should be taken to control the escalating material, labour, variable and fixed overhead rate and decrementing usage efficiency as it would reduce profitability. It should also understand the reason for favourable variances, so these practices will continue and be used within the organization. Firstly, favourable material price variances (Satin fabric, sequins, polyester yarn, metal hoops and Velcro) may due to inferior quality material usage which incur lower price, changed to a lower-price supplier, obtaining bulk discount by buying in bulk, industry oversupply of those materials causes the price to drop or material standard price is estimated too low4. The favourable material usage variance (Velour fabric) may due to efficient usage of the material by labour. There may have existence of inter-relationship of material usage and price. The better quality of velour fabric used, the higher the efficiency of the material2. Hence, material wastage decreases due to lesser defective material. The favourable labour efficiency variance for unskilled labour may relate to ergonomics whereby work motivation arises when there is improved quality of equipment or materials, or better techniques of production. Also, it may due to salary increment. Hence, the productivity increases lead to higher efficiency. The favourable fixed overhead variance (rent) may due to market price for rent have reduced or it shifted to another venue with a cheaper rent. 2.2 Implication of variances The adverse variance indicates ineffectiveness and overspending by the business as compared to budgeted figures and vice versa for favourable variances. Adverse variances would have a negative impact to reconciliation statement that causes lower profit, as more have to pay (Higher expenses) and used (More time and material used). Also, the reputation would be affected as it is less efficient. Whereas adverse sales price and volume indicates lower selling price and volume sold which causes lower sales revenue. Favourable variances have a positive effect towards reconciliation statement that causes higher profit as less have to pay (Lower expenditure) and used (Lesser time used). 3.1 Comparison Incognito has a net profit margin of 2% as compared to retail clothing sector average of 7.86%. It shows that Incognito has a higher risk that a drop in sales would wipe off profits and cause net losses. This may due to inefficiency in controlling cost as shown in several adverse variance figure (Material, labour, fixed and variable overhead). Also, the recession and continuing uncertain economic climate became the greatest threat to sales over the recent years as what happen to HM with sudden drop of 5% sales and which believed has influenced Incognito with drop of sales from 7,500 to 7310 costumes6. It founds that fancy dress industry is competitive as there shown a growing number of fancy dress like companies and website retail sales exceeded 10 billion in UK alone1. This would limit Incognito growth opportunities and reduce its profitability. 3.2 Recommendation To improve sales, it is prudent to increase marketing (Advertisement) efforts during slower sales periods as there are more competition and fewer consumers especially during current Eurozone crisis. It should utilise social networking features such as Facebook to extend business coverage. Nonetheless, it should keep up-to-date on the costume trends so it would not be left behind by its competitor. If the adverse sales are due to quality issues, it may consider using better quality materials or purchasing new machine. New machine would improve quality, productivity (Efficiency) and less maintenance is needed in the long run. Also, it is recommended to develop maintenance schedule to avoid future machine breakdowns that affects efficiency and costumes quality. To reduce material price, it is recommended to purchase material in bulk which lower the overall material price due to bulk discount given by the supplier. However, it should caution of not causing excessive inventory4. Also, it can bargain with the current supplier for a better deal by ascertaining a positive relationship. Nonetheless, it should always monitor the market for other alternative supplier that offers a better deal in term of lower price without compromising the materials quality. To ease labour rates, it is advisable to hire part-timer rather than full-timer as they are paid according to the actual hours work. This can prevent money being wasted during the idle time and improve labour efficiency. It can consider outsourcing certain jobs to low-cost areas such as Vietnam which is highly productive with lower labour rates. If adverse variance is due to inflation, it is advisable to revise the standard cost regularly so that it will always reflect the current market rates. For utilities rate reduction, it is recommended to negotiate a deal (Lower utilities rate) with the utilities company or seek for alternative utilities companies that may provide a lower utilities rate. To strengthen online presence, it needs to continue develop its B2C websites to ensure it is user friendly; high security to build trust and provide sufficient information on products offered3. Nonetheless, interaction with customer and respond to their feedbacks is important3. Also, it should increase its product range of innovative new fancy dress costumes so it would have larger market1. Ethical issues are important for sustainability as UK adults claiming to have made purchase decisions for ethical reasons7. It should concern with the material used to ensure it is up to certain quality, environmental friendly and cruelty free; employee working condition and pesticide used7. Furthermore, issue regarding trademarks copyright. Incognito took design of Meridas costume, a character in the Disney film Brave without the consent of the original designer. This could be subject to copyright issues and can be liable for fine. It is unethical as it is consider stealing of others trademark. It should encourage employee personnel development by providing training and improve employee attitudes through motivation. Frequent timely non-financial performance measure is advisable for control purposes such as observing defect rates and number of costumes completed without rework4. Additionally, it should identify its market share and target for planning purposes such as expanding and determining quantity to manufacture. 4.0 Conclusion Precautionary action should be taken to prevent material price and usage; labour rate; variable and fixed overhead rises uncontrollably in the future which reduces profitability. Nonetheless, non-financial issues such as environmental, working condition and ethics should be taken into consideration. (2000 Words)

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