This article is written by Arina Zaidi pursing Executive Certificate Course in US Accounting and Bookkeeping from SkillArbitrage and has been edited by Shreya Pandey.

This article has been published by Sneha Mahawar.​​


The write up highlights the impact of cyber crimes or terrorisms on the criminal justice system all across the globe. In this contemporary world, the usage of the internet and cyberspace is increasing rapidly with time. The advantages of this cyber world are enormous and it has become necessary as per the dynamic scenarios and requirements. The benefits come along with certain costs and drawbacks. With the increasing usage of computers and internet, cyber crimes are also increasing day by day.The Crackers (Hackers with malign intention) use to gain unauthorised access to the system he wants to breakin and he stops, destroys or gains information with malicious intentions. Cyber crimes are of various types, in most cases the intruder hacks the system of any individual, company or government etc. and damages or misuse the critical information for his own benefit. Since cyber networks are globalised and the realm of the cyber world is edgeless, problems arise here because criminals may or may not be from the same nation. These problems can be impenetrable for the governments, judges, prosecutors & the police of concerning nations where crime has taken place and the place which is affected by the crime and the place from where the crime is routed.

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The criminal justice system

The criminal justice system mainly consists of:

  1. Jurisdictional Courts 
  2. Prosecutors and defence lawyers
  3. Law enforcing officers i.e., Police (cop).
  4. Agencies detaining and supervising offenders, such as prisons and probation agencies.

Apart from these law-enforcing bodies, the main component to give judgement is based on concerning enforced law relevant to the case.

In India cyber crimes are covered and regulated by two majorly enforced laws i.e. Information and Technology Act, 2000 and Indian Penal Code, 1860. However in 2008, The IT Act 2000 was amended to include a more specific and outline definition of cyber crimes and charges punishments accordingly. However several amendments were also made in Indian Penal Code 1860 and Reserve Bank of India Act. Many bank related frauds and crimes are also common and rising daily due to the increasing use of online banking services and e- commerce. Any police officer not below the rank of Inspector authorised by the Central government has power to enter and search any public place and arrest without warrant the suspected person who has committed or of committing or being about to commit a crime.

These above mentioned laws are the basis of decisions to decide whether the accused is innocent or guilty. To give justice to the victim of crime related to the cyber world is quite complicated, in this case guilty can be from anywhere from the world, which is beyond the limits of local or national jurisdictional bodies to arrest or detain the accused easily. Definitely if the case involves a victim or guilty of outside the national boundaries then in both cases the government of that nation is also needed to be involved along with its law enforcing agencies and bodies and prevalent law regarding the crime of those nations. Problems become more complex when crime is routing through the jurisdiction of multiple nations. In those cases it becomes difficult to decide which country law will be applicable on the accused to prove him guilty. Jurisdictional laws and cyber laws of different nations are different so to grab the accused, it is necessary to have internationally skilled personnel having apt knowledge and expertise of different nation’s legal and cyber laws. To find such competent personnel is like finding water in the desert. Another issue is that concerning governments of the case should have amicable foreign relations to solve the case at ease. The crime cyber world is so intangible sort of in which it is challenging to provide evidence to prove the guilt of the accused. Many times the traces of crimes are proficiently eradicated by the criminal using sophisticated tools and techniques. Such situations are troublesome for the concerned jurisdictional system to solve the case. 

Cybercrime in today’s scenario

In the present digital world which is majorly computer operated, serves the dark purpose of the perpetrators/intruders to intrude the systems easily from anywhere. Nowadays criminals are more keen to exploit the valuable intelligence information rather than physical assets of the people, organisation or nation because critical information leakage has greater potential of causing destruction as compared to limited physical loss. Eg: – Leakage of any critical  information of defence system of a country into an unauthorised hand can be perilous to the nation’s security and can cause critical situations like war. 

The cyber criminals can infect or damage or steal data of the target computer through malware. The most common types of cyber threats include hacking, phishing, denial of service(Dos) attacks, trojan horses, insider threats, malware attacks, computer virus, crypto jacking, spyware, cyber terrorism, identity theft, cyber extortion, ransomware, email or internet fraud, cyber espionage, illegal gambling etc. To curb and control such cyber attacks and threats UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) draws specialised expertise in criminal justice system response to provide technical assistance in capacity building, prevention and awareness raising, international cooperation, data collection and research & analysis on cyber crime.  

According to Accenture’s State of Cybersecurity Resilience 2021 report, security attacks have increased up to 31% from the year 2020 to 2021. The number of attacks per company increased from 206 to 270 year on year. Attacks on companies affect individuals also because most of them store sensitive data and personal information from customers. In  companies, cyber attacks are usually done by the assistance of an insider. We can protect computers and networks from unauthorised intrusion or malware by using these tools such as updated software, proper anti-virus software, firewall, strong passwords and timely changing passwords, biometrics entries, smart cards access, timely audit and investigations etc. The concept of cyber resilience is important because a cyber resilient business has the capability to build a secure business ecosystem and has strategies to overcome threats and capacity to mitigate and overcome damage rapidly and ability to continue operation even when situations are adverse.

Effects of cybercrime

The rapid growth of cybercrime in the world has increased exorbitantly and to tackle the increasing crime rates, the legislatures and government has to make certain changes in their laws to evolve their system to get hold of the misusers of cyber networks.

Following are the major effects of cybercrime that has impacted global justice system:

Causing difficulty in investigation

Crimes done using cyber networks are very difficult to trace and the criminals use such technologies through which they may change their locations and identifications. Therefore, it gets more complicated and almost impossible to track and trace the culprits. Even if the culprits are traced, it takes an ample of time which is detrimental to the objective of criminal justice of speedy delivery of justice. Through the internet, criminals easily communicate with other transnational syndicates and form a strong chain that’s very difficult to be traced and blocked. Thus, an incomplete and complicated investigation hinders the trial procedure and acts as an obstacle for police and prosecutors.

 Lack of resource

Many countries lack enough resources to track and find out the cybercriminals. This helps criminals to continue their activities without any fear causing interventions in public’s personal lives, robbing people and banks, hacking mobile phones, computers etc. To detect the criminal’s exact location there is a need to have updated and high-tech technologies to track and detect the source computer through which cyber crimes are being committed.  

Governing laws of the countries

Due to the advent of internet cyber crimes came into existence. The laws that were drafted before the internet age needs to be reformed and evolved according to the current society’s needs. Therefore, it is very important to bring amendments in the old Acts and make laws that include cybercrimes and their punishments as well. 

The Budapest Convention  

The first international treaty on cybercrime was the “Budapest Convention” on internet and computer crimes.It is also known as the  “Convention on Cybercrime”.This convention was done by harmonising laws, improving investigation techniques and increasing cooperation among nations to control and investigate cybercrimes and provide fast and easy solutions for any crime done. Many countries like France, Japan, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Philippines and USA have participated, signed and ratified the convention, and a total 68 countries have ratified the convention. That means there are many countries who have not signed the convention on various grounds. Important countries like India and Russia have refused to adopt the convention on grounds that they have not participated in drafting the convention or adoption can violate the nation’s sovereignty and integrity and security. Many countries are re-considering the convention for adoption but sharing crucial data to foreign agencies is a matter of concern, that’s why they are still hesitating.

In India, Cyber crimes and e-commerce are regulated by “The Information Technology Act 2000” which was amended in 2008. Likewise different countries have their own laws to regulate such crimes but there is a need for common international law and an Act which can curb,control,regulate and investigate crimes and punish or execute the criminal accordingly, involved in the cross border crimes.

Involvement of United Nations

The United Nations is seeking to make a different treaty on cyber crime. Hoping this treaty will ease the judgement procedure for global crimes related cases involving different sovereign states.The dynamic and new technology has outmoded cyber law on cybercrime globally because the later is not amended or updated at the same pace as per changing technology and emerging novel crimes. 

 UNODC (The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime) promotes sustainable and long-term capacity building among nations in fighting against cybercrime. In today’s time cybercrime is governed under UNODC by the United Nations. Till now there is no separate treaty formed for governing and regulating cybercrime.

According to General Assembly resolution 65/230 and Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice resolutions 22/7 and 22/8, the Global Programme on Cybercrime is mandated to assist Member States in their struggle against cyber-related crimes through capacity building and technical assistance.

Ways to tackle cybercrime globally

International and regional cooperation

A cybercrime can take effect from any place in the world and can target any individual, area, place, city or even a country. It is possible that a person sitting in India can plan, and attack on any computer source located in America. Therefore, in order to catch the culprit and fulfil the objectives of the criminal justice system, it is quintessential that the countries cooperate with each other and provide all necessary assistance in helping and aiding the countries in investigation of cybercrimes.

 Amending and updating laws of the country

Since types and ways of committing crimes are evolving, there is a need to amend and update laws and technologies to counter the criminals and get them detected and arrested so that they do not dare to gather courage to do such activities. 

 Updated and high-tech systems and technologies

Adapting updated and high-tech systems is quintessential. As to catch criminals with high-tech systems there is a need to have similar or even better systems than the offenders. 

Spreading awareness among their citizens

Whenever a new way of cyber crime gets reported, the authorities should inform their citizens regarding such type of crimes so that individuals be cautious regarding any new kind of fraud, hacking, robbery or any other cyber crime.   


The borderless realm of cyberspace has increased the complexity of cybercrimes. The perpetrators and victims are located in different parts of the world. Though the United Nation is governing international crimes, there are many countries still hesitating to be a part of the global criminal justice system in order to avoid sharing crucial data and to save their nation’s integrity, security and sovereignty. As per the complexity of the crimes of the cyberworld it is required to have a separate international global body for governing, regulating, serving and assisting all nations in crimes related to cyberspace. If this body is formed it is going to prove very fruitful for all concerned nations in solving their cases involving cross border much effectively. To make this happen several countries are needed to work together in a collaborative manner to solve global crime.The main agenda of forming this global criminal justice system is to increase effectiveness and efficiency of investigation, prosecution and adjudication of cybercrimes.



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