Critically discuss whether the criminal courts of England and Wales require substantial reform?
In this essay I am going to research the different options and routes available through the courts in the English legal system and whether they require considerable improvement. Firstly I am going to focus on the criminal process and the different divisions of the courts within the practice. I will then describe the extent to which applications of modern technology are now being used in the courts of England and Wales, the substantial modernisation plans that are currently being implemented in some of the courts, how they can improve it and something of a vision of the future.
This essay is concerned with the criminal courts, and I am directing my attention only to courts and the court process, not to the police, to investigators, to prosecutors, nor or to those who act for defendants nor to those who keep them in custody or supervise them after conviction. But I want to lay down this important marker. None of us works in isolation. Decisions by the police and prosecuting authorities affect the way in which the courts do their work, just as decisions by the courts affect prison numbers. All are independent of each other, but all operate within the criminal justice system. The process of critical re-examination and re evaluation of the system should be constant, but we should not embrace change merely for the sake of current temporary fashion nor enforce it on the grounds of political correctness. I will use various concepts, facts and strategies and also progress by concluding the argument with how it can be improved. I will try to discuss how a decision taken at one point of criminal justice system may affect what occurs at another.
The term criminal law refers to any of various bodies of rules in different jurisdictions whose common feature is the potential for unique and often severe impositions as punishment for failure to fulfil. Criminal punishment, depending on the offence and authority, may include execution, loss of liberty, government supervision, or fines. There are some distinctive crimes, like murder, but the acts that are prohibited are not completely reliable between different criminal codes, and even within a particular code lines may be ambiguous as civil infractions may give rise also to criminal consequences. Criminal law in general is enforced by the government. (Ashworth, 1998)
Therefore, this is usually decided by reference to the main sources of law which are statue law and common law. If a conduct can be defined as a criminal conduct by an Act of Parliament then it is a criminal conduct. For example, stealing something as stated in the Theft Act 1968. Also if the conduct can be defined as a criminal conduct in common law then it is criminal conduct, e.g. murder is a common law.