Hi, is anybody able to help in an assignment that addresses the question "To what extent does the criminal trial process provide justice for the accused, the victim and society?". If anybody could help please do so
> how evidence is used (sometimes they get it wrong)
> they the accused can get a public defender -> discuss benefits (rule of law, etc), disadvantages (not particularly helpful, etc)
> talk about some defences (imo provocation, self defence)
> juries show what society wants but they're generally ineffective
Legal representation both promotes and limits justice http://www.communitylawaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/CLA_Report_Final.pdf
The high price of legal services means that many Australians would find it difficult to pay for a lawyer for anything but the most basic legal issues. When people who can’t afford a lawyer turn to government funded legal assistance services, they find that due to chronic funding shortages, ongoing help is often restricted to those on the lowest incomes, and then only for a limited range of mainly family law and criminal law issues.
Legal Aid Commissions
Legal aid commissions are state and territory statutory agencies. There are eight legal aid commissions in Australia. The commissions typically have a central head office and regional offices.
Legal aid commissions provide free legal information, advice, duty lawyer and legal representation services. Due to funding shortages, eligibility for legal representation is limited predominantly to people with very low incomes and low assets who need help with serious criminal law matters, or child protection and family matters involving a child’s welfare or living arrangements. In some cases, a person may be required to contribute to the legal costs depending on their income and assets.
If a person is eligible for legal representation, they may either be helped by a lawyer employed by the legal aid commission, or receive funds to pay for a private lawyer who does legal aid work.
Legal aid commissions also deliver community legal education and undertake some law reform work. https://www.dfat.gov.au/facts/legal_system.html
Legal Aid and Representation
Australian governments recognise that access to legal representation is an important element in ensuring justice for all. They provide some legal aid for people assessed as being least able to afford to cover the costs of a court appearance.
The federal Attorney-General’s Department is responsible for administering funding for the provision of legal aid services for federal law matters through legal aid commissions, administering a Community Legal Services Program and managing legal aid services for Indigenous Australians.
State and territory governments fund legal aid services for cases being tried under state and territory law. There are eight independent legal aid commissions, one in each of the states and territories, with a total budget of around $400 million. Funding is provided by the federal government and state and territory governments. Other revenue comes from interest earnings, contributions and fees.
Legal representation both promotes and limits justice. R v Dietrich case.
- Lawyer, solicitor, barristers
- The person who represents you
- How do you get one?
o Pay money
o Legal aid
Lawyers who will work for you – don’t have to pay
But you must:
• Pass a means test – income and asset test – very low
• Merit test – how likely to succeed
• Jurisdiction test – is it the right area of law?
- Problems with no legal representation
o The prosecutor is a specialist criminal lawyer
o If not represented:
May not be aware of defences to the charge
May not be aware of evidence – improper evidence may be introduced
o You have a right to a fair trial – part of a fair trial is a right to legal representation. Without legal representation, do you have a fair trial?