Assess The Effectiveness Of The Criminal Investigation Process As A Means Of Achieving Justice - Legal Studies - Essay

947 words - 4 pages

Assess the effectiveness of the criminal investigation process as a means of achieving justice
The criminal investigation attempts to achieve justice through investigative and arrest procedures, but these may not always be effective in achieving justice due to an abuse of police powers, issues mitigating the reporting of crime, and issues surrounding the bail and remand of accused individuals. These issues hinder the achievement of rights of the victim and the community.
Abuse of Police Powers P1
The effectiveness of the criminal investigation process in achieving justice is often undermined by the abuse of police powers, whilst in some instance they are effective in obstructing injustice from prevailing they’re widely critised for their abuse.
· Legislative measures outlined in the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 NSW has outlined the limitations of police power and works to prevent the indecent and abuse of police powers, however the issue is still prevalent in law enforcement
· In R v McClean (2008) the abuse of police powers is witnessed as police officers were seen to taser the accused 14 times which highlights how the abuse of police powers leads to
· The Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) report found the officer involved acted unlawfully and committed serious misconduct in his actions, which culminated in the man — who was given an assumed name of "Bill Holt" — being confined in a cell for several hours after being tasered.
· Despite ‘Bill Holt’ showing compliance he was tasered by the police officer thus highlighting the arbitrary abuse of police powers upon individuals
· Four NSW police officers will face assault charges over the death of young Brazilian student Roberto Laudiso Curti
· The 21-year-old man died within minutes of being tasered up to 14 times
· This highlights a breach of police powers
· However after facing trial, a magistrate only found one of the officers guilty, Senior Constable Damien Ralph and his assault charge related to the use of capsicum spray, not a taser.
· An estimated of 1.2 million in legal fees was used to represent the four officers at the coronial inquest, which highlights the inadequacies and waste of resources within the criminal investigation process.
· A proposed Law Enforcement Commission has been proposed which will have dual functions of both detecting and investigating serious misconduct and corruption
· During the criminal investigation process, police may deem it necessary to arrest suspects for the protection of victims and society, but the rights of suspects are still considered in a significantly balanced manner in most cases.
· In NSW Police v Hick, the suspect assaulted the police officers and fled from the scene thus limiting the effectiveness of criminal investigation process.
· However reforms were introduced to the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Amendment (Arrest Without Warrant) Act 2013 (NSW) which helped extend police powers of arrest without warrant, allowing police to arrest a person to stop them from fleeing an offence
· The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission was recently created, replacing the Police Integrity Commission
· An agency that investigates breaches of police powers and calls upon individuals to submit complaints. In it annual Law Enforcement Conduct Commission Annual Report it commented how in recent years there’s been a decrease in the instances of police power abuses highlighting how media is an effective vessel for enacting change as it draws light on prevailing issues to the criminal justice system and prompts governments to enact change.
P2 – Detention and Interrogation, Rights of Suspects
Once detained the rights of suspects become particularly vulnerable to being compromised by the search for truth for the attainment of justice for victims and society, but the careful regulation of this stage of the criminal investigation process is effective.
· Suspects have the right to silence, in order to prevent them from being forced to incriminate themselves
· However, under the Terrorism (Police Powers) Amendment (Investigative Detention) Act 2016 (NSW) authorizes the detention and questioning of terrorism suspects for the purposes of assisting in responding to or preventing recent or imminent terrorism attacks.
· Police can only detain a suspect for four hours, by which time that person must either be charged or unconditionally released, however this was reformed by LEPRA to an extended period of 6 hours which highlights the way in which the law attempts to
· Under the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979 (NSW), any suspect who has been arrested, has the right to 15 minutes of free legal support, either face to face or over the phone
· The stage of the criminal investigation process where the police gather evidence for trial also involves a careful balancing of the rights of victims, suspects and society, in order to best achieve justice for all parties, and when individuals’ rights are violated, effective remedial mechanisms are available.
· This is seen in the case R v Kemp (2008) in which Kemp was placed in a cell with two undercover police operatives and in conversation with them, he made several comments that confirmed his involvement in the crime which was recorded using a listening device, however this evidence was deemed inadmissible as it violated Kemp’s right to silence
· Similarly, under s 13 of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 (NSW), any information or statement a child or young person provides without a adult present is inadmissible in court.
P3 – Bail and Remand
· The decision to retain a suspect on remand or release them on bail considers the balance between the rights of victims and society to protection from harm, and the suspects right to autonomy, thus reflecting society’s moral and ethical standards for the most part.

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