AS Law Introduction to the English Legal System
What is law? • What is the purpose of law?
Justice What is ‘justice’? • Fairness? • Equality? • Truth? • Honesty? • “The upholding of rights, and the punishment of wrongs, by the law”
Does the law achieve ‘justice’? R v R (1991) The defendant was separated from his wife, and lived apart from her. He forced his way into her home and raped her. Prior to this case, a husband could not ‘rape’ his wife. Marriage, in the eyes of the law, meant consent! By finding defendant guilty was ‘justice’ achieved?
Does the law always achieve ‘justice’? • Persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany was carried out through the legal system • In apartheid South Africa, the law enforced a system which denied black people the same rights as white people
Closer to home…… • In 1997, Patrick Nicholls was acquitted, after it was discovered that the ‘victim’ Gladys Heath had died of a heart attack. At the time of his release Nicholls was the victim of the second longest miscarriage of justice, having been convicted in 1975. • In 1992, Steven Kiszko was cleared of rape and murder of 11 year old Lesley Molseed. He spent 16 years in prison and died the year following his release. The semen sample left at the scene of the crime could not have come from Kiszko, as he was impotent. Did the law achieve ‘justice’ in these cases?
Achieving Justice - the Role of the Police • To assist the state in achieving justice through the prevention and detection of crime • Experiences??