Criminal Trial Process

1083 Words5 Pages
Evaluate the effectiveness of the criminal trial process as a means of achieving justice. The criminal trial process is the entire system which includes juries and courts, as well as defences and appeals, where the guilt or innocence of the alleged offender is determined. The criminal trial process in NSW is overall ineffective as a means of achieving justice for the offender, victim and the community as a whole. Whilst there are some positive aspects of the criminal trial process, the negative aspects are far more evident. These limitations are shown regularly in the areas of juries and victims’ rights. Our laws may not always be enforceable and at times, victim’s rights may be turned away to promote resource efficiency. Juries and the jury system are one of the most controversial and publicly highlighted issues within the criminal trial process. In the modern era where many pieces of evidence involve technology and forensics, some jurors may have difficulty understanding evidence due to the increasing technical nature of some cases. This is shown in an article written by Justice Kevin Duggan in the Sydney Morning Herald (July 25, 2011) where he states that “criminal cases are becoming too complicated for juries”. Further to this, not only do juries struggle due to technology, but may also not understand key and extremely basic legal terms such as “beyond reasonable doubt” according to a report by BOCSAR in 2011. However, as the Jury Amendment (Verdicts) Act 2006 brought in laws accepting majority verdicts (11-1), it does question the notion of “beyond reasonable doubt”. In addition, the use of expert witnesses can also create difficulties for jurors when assessing evidence as it may be overpowering which may cause some jurors to not consider future evidence, as seen in the Gordon Wood case regarding Professor Cross, who was an expert witness on physics for the
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