In general, the adversarial court system facilitates various methods of achieving just and fair outcomes in the criminal justice system. However, the court system is not the only route in sentencing offenders with less serious criminal charges.
The Australian court system is very effective in some matters of criminal offences, like driving and drug offences. However, achieving justice in the court falls behind in matters like sexual assault and domestic violence. In 2014, the sexual assault rate increased to a five-year high of 88 victims per 100,000 people. These crimes often go either unreported or are not followed through by victims due to the nature of the court system, where victims have to recount their assaults many times and give confronting evidence in front of the court. Victims and legal professionals often refer to the intimidating court system as a ‘second assault.’ This can compromise the victim 's ability to give evidence about their case, making it difficult to achieve justice.
The aim of the court system is to abide by the rule of law, but this is not always possible due to the nature of courts. Juries can be biased and their judgment can be swayed by racial, sexual, economic or ge...
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... caused. It also helps the victim find closure and is a way for the offender to make amends with the victim. The people involved in the conference decide what the offender must do to repair the harm they’ve caused. This agreement is legally binding and can include a formal apology, voluntary work or counselling. It’s shown that youth justice conferences are effective in achieving fair outcomes and help prevent reoffending.
While courts are still the most effective way of achieving fair outcomes with many cases in the criminal justice system, it has flaws and is not suitable for every kind of case. These flaws leave room for alternatives to the court system like circle sentencing, restorative sentencing and alternatives for young offenders - alternatives that are more likely to result in justice for people who are disadvantaged within the court system.
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