The Judiciary System in Australia- Strengths and Weaknesses

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Yr 12 legal

The Judiciary System in Australia
Strengths and Weaknesses
It is widely recognised that Australia’s System of decision making in the court is in need of significant reform, if the nation’s present and future need for fair justice is to be met.



The Current Jury System (explanation)2

Strengths of the Current Jury System (Analyse and critique)3

Weaknesses of the Current Jury System (Analyse and critique)3

What Legal alternatives are there?5

Stake Holders & Justification of changing the system.6




It is recognised that Australia’s System of decision making in the court is in need of reform, if the nation’s present and future need for fair justice is to be met. The current legal structure in Australia is based on a system of decision making, dating back hundreds of years. Originally, in the medieval ages, a jury was made from neighbourhood witnesses, who passed judgement based on what they knew about the incident. However this is no longer the case. The basic idea of the jury is a group of people are randomly selected to work together to listen to and decide the facts of a court case, and to come up with a verdict. The jury system is used for indictable offences which are heard in the District Court or the Supreme Court. In many ways the Jury has not changed much from 1841 when the first jury trial was held in Australia. The major changes come from social norms changes such as, indigenous and female rights. These changed who could and could not be on a jury. However another reform is needed. It is evident, especially through recent statistics that the system, is not being used to its full capacity, and social norms have changed people’s view of being on a jury. During this report I will discuss the positive and negative consequences of using the jury system in Australia and explore some possible solutions to replace the problems and unhappiness arising from perceived injustices. The Current Jury System

In a Criminal Trial, a Jury consists of 12 people. A Jury is chosen from a wide population of people in a community, not discriminating from race, gender, income or sexuality. This Variety of people is selected by using a random selection process, from the electoral roll. The Jury act 1995 states that: A person who is qualified for jury service is liable to perform jury service unless the person is excused from jury service by a judge or the sheriff. The citizens who are not excused for jury, receive official jury summons and they come to court on a set date. The are then taken to the courts where they are empanelled. The first Part of the trial, both the prosecution and defence can challenge jurors, until twelve are chosen. These Twelve then hold the fate of the defendant in their hands. The role of the Jury is to watch and listen to the case, then to assess the evidence and determine what the fact is. Once a verdict is reached, the punishment is awarded by a judge who is trained in sentencing, so that there is some consistency in the punishment to fit the crime. The idea of using a jury is that the case is interpreted by a group of ordinary people, who are seen as expressing the opinion and sense of the ordinary man and woman in society. The Queensland Jury act 1995 lists people that are not eligible for Jury duty. The list includes: * the Governor;

* a member of Parliament;
* a local government mayor or other councillor;
* a person who is or has been a judge or magistrate (in the State or elsewhere); * a person who is or has been a presiding member of the Land and Resources Tribunal; * a lawyer actually engaged in legal work;

* a person who is or has been a police officer (in the State or elsewhere); * a detention centre employee;
* a corrective services officer;
* a person who is 70 years or more, if the...
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