In a town called Peace Land, the supporters of the Fiesta
football team learn that the supporters of the Jubilee football
team in the nearby city about 40 km away have damaged the ground
on which the Final between both teams is to be held the following
day. A crowd of Fiesta fans armed with deadly weapons attacks the
homes of the supporters of the Jubilee football team in the town.
In the attack, 10 men are killed, 5 women are gravely hurt, many
homes are destroyed and over 50 people injured.
Imagine that you and your classmates are now part of the criminal
justice system. First divide the class into the following four
groups of persons:
1. Police 2. Public Prosecutor 3. Defence lawyer 4. Judge
The column on the right provides a list of functions. Match these
with the roles that are listed on the left. Have each group pick
the functions that it needs to perform to bring justice to those
who were affected by the violence of the Fiesta fans. In what
order, will these functions be performed?
hear the witnesses
record the statements of witnesses
cross examine the witnesses
take photographs of burnt homes
record the evidence
arrest the Fiesta fans
writes the judgment
argue the case for the victims
Police: record the statements of witnesses; take photographs of
burnt homes; arrest the Fiesta fans; get the assaulted women
Public Prosecutor: cross examine the witnesses; examine the
witnesses in court; argue the case for the victims.
Defence Lawyer: cross examine the witnesses; meet the accused
persons; examine the witness in court.
Judge: hear the witness; writes the judgment; decide for how many
years the accused will be put in jail; pass the judgment.
The victims would not get justice if only one person performed
all of the functions of the criminal justice system because a
separation of powers is necessary within a judicial system too
since absolute power can never be fair.
Different persons need to play different roles as part of the
criminal justice system because: one, all aspects of an
investigation and trial cannot be conducted by one person alone
as they entail diverse kinds of work including, arrests,
recording of witness statements, defence of accused and
parties, passing of a fair trial and a judicially correct
judgment. Two, if all these powers are vested in one person
alone, they might be misused and will thereby violate the rule of
law based on equal and just decisions.
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