Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The substantive criminal law receives little attention from the Tennessee appellate courts. No doubt this observation would be equally true of most jurisdictions. To one who received his legal training in a common law system of criminal law and who yet has had some experience with Canada's federal code of criminal law, the emphasis on criminal procedure is surprising. Does this mean that the state codes of substantive law have reached such heights of perfection and expertise that the efforts of the Model Penal Code draftsmen are unnecessary or, at best, academic? It is unlikely. The position rather reflects a preoccupation with constitutional rights and a criticism of the present law of criminal procedure. This accentuation is not unexpected in the light of the great activity of the United States Supreme Court in the field of constitutional criminal procedure in recent years.