Legal Studies- Courts Role in the Criminal Justice System Essay

Describe the role of courts in the criminal justice process: The main role of the courts is to interpret and apply the law. In terms of a criminal justice process the court serves as the place in which a trial is heard and a sentence decided. Evaluate the use of the adversary system as a means of achieving justice: The adversarial system is moderately effective in achieving just outcomes for the individual and society as well as attempting to protect their rights. One of the main features that ensure the protection and just outcomes for all people is the consistency of the adversarial system.

This means that each case will have the same features with the examination of evidence and witnesses as well as the ability for the opposing side to cross examine the witness. As well as the consistency of this, the adversary system allows for people to have greater access to the law. This is especially the case as the burden of proof lays with the accuser not the accused. Hence they have a greater chance of the case being found to have an innocent person hence staying with the rights of the individual to be innocent until proven guilty.

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On the other hand many believe that the system results in a case that is won by the best side and not the one with the ‘correct’ evidence. This in turn reduces the ability for just outcomes for all of society as they are unable to win cases in which they are actually innocent or people are not punished when they are actually guilty. This reduces the access to society and means that their rights will not be protected because they are unable to use the system to their advantage in order to achieve the outcomes that are desired and socially correct.

Overall this demonstrates that the adversarial system is moderately effective in being able to achieve justices and protect the rights of the society and individuals. Examine the role of legal representation in the criminal trial: The role of legal representation is the stand up on behalf of another. Legal representation means that a competent legal professional acts on your behalf within the court system. Furthermore, legal representation allows you navigate laws that you would not have been aware of absent representation. This legal representation is very helpful as many may not know the rule of the law or understand it.

Therefore the legal representation can help the person to understand the case and it is more likely to result in a fair trial that will achieve the required outcome. Access the use of defences to achieving justice. Complete and partial defences are moderately effective in achieving just outcomes and protecting the rights of the individual and society. One of the main issues with complete and partial defences is that some people can get away with charges because they claim that they have a defence to a case. This means that justice will not be achieved for the victim as the accused does not achieve the punishment they should for a crime.

This occurs especially when someone wants to get out of the crime that they have committed and so they ‘fake’ a mental illness. This also means that justice will not be served for the accused as they get to walk free, or with a lesser punishment than necessary. This in turn means that the resources of the court will not be used effectively as people may be in mental facilities that do not need to be there. Likewise this reduces the enforceability of the law as it means that people will not be effectively punished due to their deceit or fake defence.

On the other hand for those that do have an actual defence to a crime this can increase the ability for them to access the law as they are able to get a fair sentence for the crime that they have committed. As well as this it increases the enforceability of the law for the offender as they will be sentenced accordingly. However this may not achieve just outcomes for the society or the victim as they defendant is not punished as harshly as they would like. In turn this can reduce the consistency of the law as the punishment will not be the same for each person for the same crime because of the defence that they have.

Therefore it can be seen that the complete and partial defences to a case can be extremely effective for the offender as they receive a fair sentence for the crime committed according to their circumstances. However this can be extremely ineffective for the victim and the remainder of society as they perpetrator does not receive the expected sentence or because they abuse the system. Overall this demonstrates that complete and partial defences within a case are moderately effective in achieving the rights of individuals as well as society and achieving just outcomes for them.

Evaluate the effectiveness of the jury system in the criminal trial: Juries are extremely effective in achieving justice and protecting the rights of the individual and society. This is because they attempt to balance the rights of the individual with the morals of society as they are part of the society. Juries increase the ability for just outcomes of the individual as they are impartial and hear the evidence on which they can judge a person. Unless they have heard about the case in the media they will have no prior knowledge of this person and so are unbiased.

This therefore provides just outcomes as they improve the individual’s access to the law when people do not let their previous opinions enter into the trial. As well as this juries help to provide society just outcomes as they allow for some of the morals to be initiated into the case. Due to the fact that all members of the jury are everyday citizens they are able to provide insight into the views of the society and hence will determine a sentence partially based on their views on the evidence presented to them.

This therefore means that the access to the society is greater within the legal system as they are able in some way to put forward their views. On the other hand this can lead to a lack of impartiality and may result in time ineffectiveness. Especially if the jury has heard about the case prior to the trial or they let their own opinions get in the way of the facts of the case. This can lead to hung votes and result in times delays with the case. In turn the individual who has been accused may have a decreased chance of have justice received as the longer a case takes the less likely it is that justice will be serves.

This is because juries can forget or the matter becomes so delayed that juries decide on a case just so that they can go home. Time delays can also impact on the wider society and provide issues with jobs especially if the people on the jury are delayed for an extremely long time. This can mean that employers are short staffed and can impact on the wider economy. This can then reduce cost effectiveness for the rights of society and the family of the individual that is on jury duty. Conversely juries help to make the law more enforceable as they help to rule on the innocence or guilt of a person.

Through this they are able to make sure that the right people are being punished according to the evidence that they have heard. This therefore means that the law is consistent in regards to how it is enforced and how it is decided whether a person is innocent or guilty. Overall although juries do sometimes result in ineffectiveness based on time delays and costs the upsides are far greater. This is because they are consistent and help to provide equality within the legal system. They also help to make the law enforceable and provide just outcomes and help the rights of the individual and society.


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