Effectiveness of the Australian's Criminal Trial Process in Achieving Justice

Topics: Jury, Law, Verdict Pages: 4 (1336 words) Published: December 6, 2012
Evaluate the effectiveness of the criminal trial process in achieving justice

Justice is the concept of moral rightness that is based on equality, access and fairness. This means that the law is applied equally, understood by all people and does not have a particularly harsh effect on an individual. In Australia, the adversary system is used as a means to achieve justice by proving the accused, beyond reasonable doubt, committed the crime. The criminal trial process has many features which aim to fulfill the requirements of achieving justice. These elements, though considers equality, fairness and access, are flawed in practice. Flaws such as the handling of evidence, jurors not understanding instructions, inadequate funds for legal representation and controversial use of defences prove the criminal trial process ineffective. Evidence builds the basis of any criminal trial. The judge regulates the evidence that is introduced into court. Evidence can be deemed inadmissible if it was illegally obtained under the Evidence Act 1995 (NSW), for example, police forcefully acquired the confession out of the suspect. Most evidence is in the form of oral statements – witnesses that are competent, compellable and non-privileged are called to testify. There are many issues regarding the reliability of evidence. Most trials take place a few months after the crime and witnesses are asked to recall information after this substantial amount of time. The witnesses may not remember all the information correctly or forgetting details as to what had occurred. Further to the unreliability of witnesses, the reliability of DNA evidence is uncertain. Though the scientific technology that analyses the DNA produced from a crime scene is sound, “if you look at the various miscarriages around the world that have involved DNA, it’s almost always around the chain of custody areas of the DNA process”. The report by ABC Law Report, “Evidence in Criminal Trials” (2010), reveals that there...
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