Legal Studies Essay

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Explain the tension between community interests & individual rights and freedoms within then criminal justice system.? Crime is defined as an act or omission committed against the community at large that is punishable by the state. It is a constantly changing area so it can reflect upon societies changing values. The tension within the criminal justice system explores whether the rights of an individual should be infringed to protect a community so they feel safe. In relation to crime, the idea of tension is an issue due to the conflicting demands between the victim, accused and society. An area within the criminal justice system which has areas of tension is sentencing. The guidelines for sentencing are followed from the “Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW)”. For criminal acts, the type of punishment enforced is aimed to stop the recidivism. If the community is to feel safe, applying incapacitation to an offender would be seen as most effective from societies view. Incapacitation refers to making an offender incapable of committing further offences by restricting their freedom. Penalties could include home detention, community work or imprisonment. Even though it is effective from societies view, it isn’t the best measure to prevent recidivism due to the uncertainty of which offenders are likely to reoffend and which are not. Laws alone would be ineffective without any means to enforce them. The police form part of the executive arm of government and have a role in the criminal investigation process. The police have the powers to; investigate, arrest, interrogate, gather evidence and search and seizure but police will sometimes need to seek a warrant from the court to be able to use a particular power for e.g. making an arrest. Without use of a warrant the rights of an individual may be breached by unlawfully using their power. An example of this is

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