5.2.6 Sentencing Law-Breakers: Courts and the Judiciary

(This is a current page, from the Patterns of Power Edition 3 book contents.  An archived copy of this page is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/526.htm)

When, following the law enforcement actions described in the previous section (5.2.5), someone has been apprehended for breaking the law, it is necessary to determine whether the person is truly guilty or not.  The law enforcement agencies may be keen to apprehend a culprit, so that they appear to be efficient, but they should not usurp the functions of a court system; if they do so, the resulting ‘police state’ would breach people’s rights to a fair trial – in contravention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Articles 10 and 11).

It is desirable to have courts which are independent of both the law enforcement agencies and the lawmakers, as required by the Separation of Powers that is described later (5.2.8).  The following sub-sections examine some of the issues to be considered:

The different types of law-courts (5.2.6.1);

The appointment of judges (5.2.6.2);

Sentencing policy (5.2.6.3);

The need for an appeals process (5.2.6.4).

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