Criminal justice procedures provide that in any litigation, the accused is innocent until proven guilty. In essence, the onus is always on the judicial officials to assess the veracity of the evidence presented before to inform their admissibility or otherwise. The judges and prosecutors have to make the final determination of a case from the given evidence and with a particular reference to the relevant laws (Hails, 2014). From the onset, court administrators work for the judicial system which is created within the concept of separation of powers. Therefore, the decisions made by prosecutors must be based on sound assessment of evidence considered against the law (Hails, 2014). The judges and prosecutors have to operate within the principles of independence and impartiality. In delivering their mandate, the court administrators have to embrace the fact that their duty is and remains to apply the law.
The notion of beyond reasonable doubt requires that before the court administrators make any pronouncements, they should have considered all the applicable laws and afforded a fair hearing to all the parties involved in a lawsuit. Judges and prosecutors have the role of providing a suitable environment for presentation of evidence and protection of witnesses whenever need be (Hails, 2014). The hearing process is often the most volatile segment of the court system where the administrators have to balance the rights of the parties involved and the need to obtain all forms of incriminating information. In essence, the rights of both the plaintiff and the accuser have to be upheld (Hannibal & Mountford, 2007). The prosecutors have the responsibility to objectively interrogate issues in the case as opposed to mere subjective assessments.
In the dispensation of justice, judicial officers have a duty to ensure that their perceptions and opinions are inferior to the provisions of the law. In essence, they reserve the role of performing their duties fairly, consistently and expeditiously with utmost respect and protection of human dignity and human rights (Hannibal & Mountford, 2007). The prosecutors also have a special obligation to uphold the rights of a suspect especially when they out rightly know that the evidence leveled against them was obtained through recourse to unlawful methods (International Bar Association & United Nations, 2003). If evidence is obtained illegally, then its admissibility amounts to a grave violation of the suspects human rights.
Available evidence before a court is the primary consideration that jurors use in probing the cases presented before them. However, there are other factors including the age of the accused, repeat offending and mental soundness of the defendant at the time of committing the offense (International Bar Association & United Nations, 2003). Juveniles are subjected to different treatments by the law since the objective easing is that their mental capacity may not have been adequately developed to act with sound judgment (Hannibal & Mountford, 2007). Since the primary aim of any law or prosecution is to punish the accused as well as fostering deterrence among potential offenders, the prosecutors have to enforce their judgments by imposing severe penalties on recidivists.
The court administrators must uphold the principle of a fair hearing by allowing the accused to access legal assistance from lawyers. These advocates must not be over-restricted in offering their help to the respondent (Hannibal & Mountford, 2007). They should be allowed to protect the interests of the client, advise the accused of their rights and obligations and file legal documents on behalf of the client. The underpinning for allowing legal support is the fact that not all the accused people are conversant with court procedures yet they need to be allowed the room for a fair hearing.
Hannibal, M., & Mountford, L. (2007). Criminal litigation handbook: 2007-2008. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hails, J. (2014). Criminal evidence. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
International Bar Association, & United Nations. (2003). Human rights in the administration of justice: A manual on human rights for judges, prosecutors and lawyers. New York [u.a.]: United Nations.
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