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"The Chamberlain Case highlighted many of the weaknesses in the Australian legal system

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Introduction

"The Chamberlain Case highlighted many of the weaknesses in the Australian legal system." Do you agree with this assessment? Give examples to illustrate your answer. The case of Lindy Chamberlain was very significant in Australian legal history as it involved the conviction and imprisonment of an innocent person for infanticide. This is occurrence should never have taken place and demonstrated the weaknesses in the Australian legal system. A legal system is meant to be sturdy and never failing system that the public can put its trust ad faith in but this time it fell apart and wrongly convicted an innocent mother, wife and friend. Something needs to be done to ensure the unnecessary imprisonment of an innocent does not occur again. There were many issues in the legal system that let Lindy Chamberlain down. Firstly the expensive court system that disadvantages those who cannot afford the best. Secondly, the inadequacies of the police force. The third issue was the public bias and finally the contaminated jury. Cheap Lawyer "Justice only comes by the expenditure of large amounts of money and support of many friends".1 This statement is true. Not many people in the country can afford the best lawyer and it is true to say that if you have the money to pay for a brilliant lawyer than you will have a good chance at winning any case. ...read more.

Middle

Ward an investigator did a test in the same conditions and found threads were not pulled. The police, at a later and dryer time of year, did a similar experiment that was televised. The loops of the jumpsuit were pulled. The media got hold of this and people came up with conclusions.5 The public were given the wrong impressions and evidence by the police, a force that the public have faith in. Public Interference The incident occurred in the Northern Territory, an independent territory with its own government and a tight knit community. Indirectly policies of the rangers had been instrumental in unsettling wildlife to the extent that dingoes had begun attacking humans, a fact that no local wanted to face. The policies of the chief ranger Roff inadvertly helped cause a baby's death.6 The line of the dingo taking the baby involved human intervention7. This intervention was said (and later proven) to have occurred at a local family's, the Cawood's, home and involving many of the locals. The aboriginal black tracker Winmatti was asked by chief ranger Roff to track the dingo that took baby Azaria. Winmatti said the dingo headed west, the direction of the Cawood home and then stopped at the house.8The Cawood's already had history of treating this particular animal like a pet and John Cawood claimed to have already "taken care of it" when the same dingo had attacked another child. ...read more.

Conclusion

The jury is meant to only convict if guilt is beyond reasonable doubt, but in this case the jury still did convict despite Lindy's innocence. Jury bias is strongly demonstrated in this case. The jury system is not an adequate system if it is able to wrongly convict an upstanding citizen. There were many elements that contributed to the failing of the legal system for Lindy Chamberlain. The Australian Legal System is taken from the British system which was developed a long time ago and when scientists or journalists had much affect on the system. With huge advances in science, the average person would be unable to understand let alone to dispute and identify inconsistencies. It is too great a task to understand and evaluates a person's innocence. This system is outdated and needs to be updated as it does not allow for jury bias, diverse ethnicity, bias of expert witnesses and does not give much consideration to discrimination and small town bond. No system of human justice is perfect. Our system has its rules and guidelines yet these are mere words written on paper, in practise it is different and rules are broken or twisted. A person may suffer unfairly at the hands of fellow citizens in a jury box. Sometimes law can be a popularity contest especially in cases so widely publicised and widespread as the Chamberlain one. ...read more.

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