The Rights Of Victims And Offenders Essay

The Rights Of Victims And Offenders Essay

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The use of evidence and witnesses is a mechanism in which the law attempts to balance the rights of victims and offenders in the criminal trial process. Evidence used in court are bound by the Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) and have to be lawfully obtained by the police. The use of evidence and witnesses balance the victims’ rights to a great extent. However, it is ineffective in balancing the rights of offenders. The law has been progressive in protecting the rights of victims in the use and collection of evidence and witness statements. The Criminal Procedure Amendment (Domestic Violence Complainants) Bill 2014, which amends the Criminal Procedure Act 1986, passed the NSW Legislative Council on 18 November 2014. The amendment enables victims of domestic violence to record their statements as their evidence instead of giving oral evidence in court. It also allows police to use body-mounted cameras when entering domestic violence scenes and record the situation to be used as evidence in court. Victims of sexual assault also have the right to have special arrangements made for them when they are giving evidence. Although the law has been progressive in protecting the rights of victims, issues have risen regarding the effects of social media on court evidence and witness statements. According to an ABC News article (23 January 2013), social media is said to be “tainting evidence.” Tony Kerin, president of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, stated that “social media is providing a new medium through which it [contamination of witness testimonies] can occur.” These issues in court evidence and witness testimonies does not balance the rights of the offender as it infringes their rights to a fair trial. The use of evidence and witnesses have be...


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...y of Sydney said that this is because “judges were less likely to be guided by their emotions.” Juries balance the rights of victims and society to a great extent. However, they are ineffective in balancing the rights of the offender as juries can be biased which violate the offender’s rights to have a fair trial.

In conclusion, the law balances the rights of victims, offenders and society to a certain extent in the criminal trial process. The use of evidence and witnesses in the criminal trial process balances the rights of victims but does not balance the right offenders. Charge negotiations are resource efficient and effective in balancing the rights of victims and society in terms of criminal convictions. Juries uphold the rights of victims and society to a great extent; however, they are ineffective in balancing the rights of the offender as they can be biased.

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