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The Judiciary Role in the Criminal Justice System

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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. 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.

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With regard to the preceding discussions, the current criminal justice system faces the litmus test of being fair and effective. An examination of the law-making process and law makers in Australia reveals some important facts for understanding the processes of criminal justice. Law makers at both state and federal government are disproportionately white, male, and more than twenty years older than an average Australian. There is a lot of money involved in the political and criminal justice system. The current system is accused of bias based on gender, color and social status among other parameters. The issue of how white collar crime is handled under the system has been a source of heightened concern. The system has ignored the most harmful act against Australians, deeming it unfair as the perpetrators are not held accountable (Lab, 2007). Logically criminal justice activity would be unfair because police, courts and corrections carry out criminal law. Thus the criminal justice process does not achieve desert, as a key component of fairness if the law is applied discriminately. There are cases where the police, courts and corrections enforce unfair law unintentionally, the term innocent bias is applied. Innocent bias to exist does not require dishonest court staff, bad police officers, or unethical correctional personnel. The fact is that even if all employees of the justice system were fair, just, equitable, unbiased, impartial, objective and dispassionate, the Australian criminal justice process would be unjust still due to innocent bias. This is the most significant and dangerous form of unfairness, with widespread effects that cannot be rooted out easily, unlike most apparent forms like corruption, police brutality, bribery, and prosecutorial misconduct among others. Hence the criminal justice system as it stands currently cannot be assumed to be fair and effective. It should be understood that after the apparent threats to unfairness have been identified and dealt with, the issue of innocent bias will still remain to hound the effectiveness and fairness of the system. It is important to acknowledge that the opinion of the public generally suggests citizen agreement with criminal law. The acts recognized in law as serious crimes are still those that the populace tends to think are most serious. Because the police probe alleged crimes and are the primary point of entry for cases in the criminal justice system, innocent bias established in the criminal law in perpetuated in the activities of law enforcement.

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These results sharply contrast with discussion at the National Conference on Public Trust and Confidence in the Criminal Justice System, held in Washington, D.C., in 1999

The 500 attendees included State chief justices, court managers, and representatives of the Federal judiciary, bar, and news media. The draft National Action Plan that emerged from this conference focused on such strategies as improved education and training of judges, improved media understanding of the courts, increased judicial involvement in public education on the role of the courts, and better use of information technology (Sherman, L.W., 1992). Yet the strategies seemed unresponsive to concerns about the treatment of victims and offenders voiced in the northeastern States survey. The organizations participating in this plan include the American Bar Association, DOJ, the Conference of Chief Justices, and the League of Women Voters. The personal concerns of survey respondents are consistent with a major theory about declining public confidence in all of government—not just the criminal justice system—in all modern nations. A similar loss of trust has been found in 18 other nations. These concerns arise from the growth of equality in all walks of life and increasing emphasis on respect for individuals. To the extent the survey shows the public demand for greater respect of citizens by courts, it reflects a more general complaint about government in liberal democracies (Safir, H., 1999).

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In conclusion, criminal justice system remains one of the biggest challenges not only in US but around the world. However, it important to note that, law enforcement and criminal justice system of US has developed tremendously since the nation was founded some 200 years ago. Though, the system outlines its functions, there have been conflicts between the agencies, each condemning one another due to ineffectiveness

In conclusion, criminal justice system is a vital part of our society and a complex amalgamation of the three major components which include; law enforcement, courts and corrections.

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Rattner, A., “Structural Models of Injustice and Illegalism in Israel,” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 14 (1998): 379–396.

Riesman, D., The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1950.

Safir, H., “For Most, Brutality Isn’t the Issue,” The New York Times, April 19, 1999, 23.

Sherman, L.W., Policing Domestic Violence: Experiments and Dilemmas, New York: Free Press, 1992.

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