Pursuing Criminal Justice Outline
Definition of justice in relation to courts
In the world, people are bound to arrive at disagreements a number of times. They revert to courts to arbitrate over the disagreements and arrive at a decision. Justice entails fairness in arriving at a decision. For courts it will involve an independent investigation of the truth in the circumstances. Courts of law are supposed to be fair in their determination of cases. Fairness in this case does not involve establishing the truth at all costs but truth within the law. If one is not able to prove their truth to the court, then it is not the business of the court to assume the truth. In an adversarial system, the court’s definition of fairness and justice is based on the evidence presented by parties and using this evidence within the law to arrive at a decision. These parameters of law include due process of law and rule of law.
Three components of court that illustrate justice
Justice in courts is exhibited when we consider courts procedure, legitimacy as well as independence in the investigation of truth.
The court in hearing or in resolving a certain case should adhere to due process of law. This entails not condemning any person until they are heard on their defense. The court should always work on the presumption that every one should be presumed innocent until they are proved guilty. Such people should be given an opportunity to present their case and defense to the court.
The courts should always observe legitimacy in their attempt to resolve a dispute. For example if it involves acceptance of evidence for the prosecution, it should only accept evidence that has been collected within the law and avoiding accepting evidence that has been collected using trickery. Further courts can only enforce agreements that are legitimate and within the law. Legitimacy is very crucial in assisting courts in arriving at a fair and just decision as it ensures the court acts within the law.
In any court proceedings, the judge, lawyers as well as the jury are expected to act independently in their investigation of any crime. The judge, jury and should not be biased or influenced by any motives in the court. If a person involved in a certain have a certain interest in the case under consideration, they should always declare their interest and step down from being involved in hearing the matter. This will ensure that they are not influenced by anything in the arrival of a conclusion.
Changes that have occurred to courts as a result of September 11 attacks
After the September 11 attacks courts have adopted in a major way so as to be able to deal with the various changes that happened in the Criminal Justice System. This is especially so following the much legislation that was passed by the congress to deal with the emerging terrorist threats. These laws introduced new crime definitions especially the Patriotic Act that was meant to counter all acts of terrorism.
Biggest challenges to the courts in the next 10 years
One of the biggest challenges facing the court is pertaining its independence. As much as we talk of independence of judiciary owing to separation of powers, complete separation is not possible and therefore some influence especially from the executive is bound to happen.
Secondly, there are many controversies following the constitutionality of some legislation. Without a conclusion on the legality of these laws the courts will always arrive at conflicting conclusions.
Finally, courts are faced with the problem of backlog of cases. This is attributed to the fact that the number of judges especially in federal courts is less if compared to the number of cases that are presented to the courts. This results in delay in hearing and determination of cases.