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The double Jeopardy Law is an 800 year old piece of legislation which states that once someone has been tried once, and have been acquitted, they cannot be tried again

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Introduction

The double Jeopardy Law is an 800 year old piece of legislation which states that once someone has been tried once, and have been acquitted, they cannot be tried again (1). This Law was put in place to provide rules to protect those who have been accused. However there have been many speculations made as to whether it is still only protecting the accused, or hindering the victims. This essay will attempt to answer that question. It will state what the Double Jeopardy Law is, what the general layout of it is, what the advantages and disadvantages of it are, why it shouldn't be used in Australia, how it could be reformed and what effect the relaxation of it would have on the relevant stakeholders General layout of the Double Jeopardy Law The Double Jeopardy Law is a piece of legislation which protects against three abuses; a second prosecution for the same offence after acquittal, a second prosecution for the same offence after conviction and multiple punishments for the same offence. The underlying idea is that the State with all its resources and power should not be allowed to make repeated attempts to convict an individual for an alleged offence, thereby subjecting him to embarrassment, expense and ordeal and compelling him to live in a continuing state of anxiety and insecurity, as well as enhancing the possibility that even though innocent s/he may be found guilty. ...read more.

Middle

This fully backs up the idea that the Double Jeopardy Law needs to reformed, an argument that even the premier backed up by saying "When compelling new evidence arises in a serious crime, it should be able to be tabled in a court of law." (14) Why shouldn't the Law be in use in Australia Australia is one of the most scientifically advanced countries in the world. Any new additions to forensic police work are always incorporated into the Australian Police Force. With all of the new scientific advancements being put in place, there needs to be some changes made to some of the old laws that were made when DNA evidence was not around. The Double Jeopardy Law was originally formed 800 years ago where it was common law. There was no DNA evidence around then and there have been no amendments to the Law to incorporate the new developments. The Premier and Federal Justice Minister Chris Ellison both back up the idea that the law needs to be reformed for the Australian law system to work well in the age. Reform of the Double Jeopardy Law There have been many ideas brought forward worldwide for the reform of the Double Jeopardy Law. The Law Commission, the official law reform body for England and Wales, has recommended that the rule against double jeopardy be changed with regard to murder. ...read more.

Conclusion

When it was created it was not intended to be used to hinder the investigations and trial proceedings of police officers due to its obsolescence, it was made to protect the accused. However, unfortunately it is now creating a problem in the current society. To put a stop to this inadequacy in the text of the legislation, there needs to be reform so that it can once again fulfil its purpose to protect the innocent. Without reform the Law will continue to hinder investigations and trial proceedings until it is fixed. (1)- Forensic Science Service Annual Report 1998-9, p.15, 21 (2)- Carr bid to scrap law on double Jeopardy, By Eamonn Duff, February 9 2003, The Sun-Herald (3) - http://webjcli.ncl.ac.uk/2000/issue5/james5.html#Heading39 (4) - Law Society, at; http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/dcs/fourth_tier.asp, 8 February 2000 (5) - The Times (1997) 22 January (6) - Law Society, at; http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/dcs/fourth_tier.asp, 8 February 2000 (7) - Forensic Science Service Annual Report 1998-9, p.15, 21 (8) - ABC Radio 2000-06-11 13:14:47 (9) - The Times (1997) 22 January (10) - The Times, 1999b (11) - The Times, 1997 (12) - The Times, 1998 (13) - The Times, 1999b (14) - LATELINE- Broadcast: 10/2/2003 (15) - Law Society, at; http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/dcs/fourth_tier.asp, 8 February 2000 (16) - Law Society, at; http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/dcs/fourth_tier.asp, 8 February 2000 (17) - Thomas, G.C., (1998) Double Jeopardy: The History, the Law (New York University Press, New York) (18) - Thomas, G.C., (1998) Double Jeopardy: The History, the Law (New York University Press, New York) Joshua Van Egmond 12W2 Essay.doc 27/04/2007 ...read more.

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