Effectiveness of the law in gaining justice for society.

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Evaluate the effectiveness of the law in gaining justice for society and outline the agencies of law reform and the conditions which give rise to reform.

When evaluating the effectiveness of the law in gaining justice for society, a judgement must be made based on the criteria given. This includes resource efficiency, law as a reflection of community standards and expectations, opportunities for enforcement, appeals and review, and balances of an individual and a community’s rights and values. The agencies of criminal law reform include law reform commissions, both at a State and Federal level, Parliament, and the Courts. Conditions which give rise to reform include those such as changing social values and composition of society, new concepts of justice, failure of existing laws, international law, and new technology.

Resource efficiency is one way in which the legal system can possibly make changes in gaining justice for society. The Government is granted only a certain amount of money to spend on managing crime. In order to be resource efficient the Government must find a balance between obtaining the maximum amount of justice for society using the least amount of money. One way of doing this is to spend more money on rehabilitating criminals and on crime prevention strategies, rather than imprisoning people, which tends to cost $50000-$73000 every year, per person. By spending more money on crime prevention the Government will have less crimes being made by members of the community, and therefore, less people needing punishment which results in less outrage evolving from society.

A common question arising within society is whether or not the law reflects the community’s standards and expectations of what the law should be. Within some areas of the legal system legislation is amended at a rather fast pace in response to community outrage. For example, the case of R v Bilal Skaf was interrupted by the State Government following outbursts of anger arousing within the community. The results of this were that the penalty for aggravated sexual assault in company was increased to penal servitude for life. This was largely imposed due to pressure from a considerable majority of people within multiple communities. Another aspect of the law where growing frustration existed amongst the community was in that of the “truth in sentencing” laws in the year 1989. People within society were outraged at the amount of penal servitude being sentenced and not being completed. Prisoners were only serving a small fraction of their original sentence, the community was outraged, and the legal system made changes. The media brings about focus on these particular situations in hope of initiating outrage amongst the community. They succeed in doing so, and in turn, get the story they were hoping for.

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For legislation or for a single law to be effective in gaining justice for society, it has to be enforceable. Young people and drink driving are two aspects which have been affected in relation to opportunities for enforcement. Older people within the community have shown grave concern in whether or not younger people are receiving the sentence they deserve after committing the crime they have committed. This is a significant issue if the legal system is to effectively gain justice for all members of society, including older people. Society is concerned that because a younger person may not have ...

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