Criminal justice – fair or flawed?


Around the world, one of the most gripping branches of law is criminal law. No matter the country, no matter the offence, there is a strict and unforgiving set of legal processes and ramifications in place that allows the law to prosecute perpetrators accordingly, and protect the victims of such cases appropriately. Quite often, the sad reality is that some perpetrators walk free with a mere slap on the wrist, despite their victims coming forward and bravely giving their statements and testifying against them. In a legal system so wrought with intricate details and sure-fire processes to bring justice to cases, it is troubling to comprehend that some cases simply do not have the outcome that most people would deem appropriate. Cold blooded killers get away with murder. Perpetrators of sexual violence get a slap on the wrist and are told simply to not do it again – this is especially true for on-campus assaults. Thieves and bandits are giving community service, when they have been escalating their crimes for years, verging on manslaughter. Around the world, the criminal law system does not always win.

The criminal law system in Australia is fractured. While Australia is largely hailed for being one of the safest, most diverse and proud countries in the world, it is also increasingly becoming known as a hub for unfortunate faults in the pursuit of justice. In Queensland in particular currently, there are victims of violence coming forward and insisting that the criminal justice system is consistently failing them. In not responding to their need for safety and reassurance, the legal system in Queensland has – intentionally or not – allowed perpetrators of sexual or otherwise physical violence the opportunity and the means to continue offending. Victims feel betrayed and in danger, perpetrators feel proud and invincible, and the criminal justice system often is made to feel like a failure, despite jumping through all the right hoops and investing time, energy, and determination into case after case. It is inevitable that some cases will not go as planned, but to have such a blatant public outcry of the imbalance of criminal justice against perpetrators speaks of a fracture in the system that simply must be healed in order for victims to find peace and current and future generations to find safety.

It is a rather intriguing paradox, to say the least. In any criminal law systems around the world, mistakes happen. The guilty can get away with the worst, and the innocent can be misrepresented, sometimes leading to incarceration of an innocent person. The circumstances and subsequent lives of those involved or surrounding each crime make each and every crime entirely unique, and it is this incredibly diversity across the system that astounds so many and intrigues the world, time and again. The US criminal justice system is also in dire need of restructuring, as does that of the UK. In the US specifically, each state operates using its own specified takes on the US laws, crafting particular laws to be enforced in different states. Criminal law, for example, differs from state to state. In some states, the death penalty is legal and currently in active operation, while in others it is put a law of the past.

The importance of criminal law cannot possibly be overstated. A criminal lawyer is a symbol of justice which houses what is known as the intent, the implementation, and the serving of crimes of any kind. Criminal law is the responsive process that aligns with the criminal justice system, effectively allowing the realisation, the court proceedings, and the sentencing of the accused, while simultaneously protecting the victims of such cases. Criminal law is one of the most expansive branches of any law system. With so many moving and realigning pieces involved, every case is set to be entirely unique. Criminal justice is the essence of keeping a moral standard of what is and is not acceptable in society, and criminal law is the process that enforces that essence.

Criminal law is the most intriguing branch of law for many people, and the realisation that it is not perfect in any country in the world comes with a startlingly confronting reality; criminal law will likely always exist. As long as there is a set of laws to be broken, there will be those that seek to not only break them, but destroy lives, concepts, and ideals in the process. Criminal justice is vital to a healthy legal system and a thriving, safe public, but it is also not a concept that is seamless. Even as those in the law industry grapple with the need to bring the accused to justice, and set the victims free in the process, there is an undeniable reality in motion. That reality is that the criminal law system is not just a set of laws and processes put in place to outline what is and is not acceptable among humanity, but an absolutely vital piece in the puzzle of keeping societies morally accountable and individuals responsible for their actions.

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