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Criminal Justice System - Lectures #1 and 2

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York University
Social Science
SOSC 2652
Anna Pratt

SOSC 2652 (CJS) – Lecture# 1 – Introductions September 6 , 2012 Introduction – Politics of Naming: - Criminal: offender - Crimes: acts – following a long process of giving meaning to these acts - Corrections – the concealment of the „intentional delivery of pain‟  Ex. Bill C-10 – „pardon‟ changed to „record suspension‟ – more technical Consensus Model: - Legal definitions of crime and administration criminal justice reflect universally held shared social values - General agreement on what should be against the law - Focus on criminal acts and actions rather than reactions - Distinguishes between criminals and non-criminals - Crimes are acts or activities which are mala in se (wrong in themselves) Conflict Model: - Activities/ behaviours criminalized because of broader social, economic + political factors - Criminal law reflects the values of those in power and influence - Less agreement on social values - Focus on behavior of the criminal law and the processes of law reform - No essential distinction between criminals and non-criminals  Depends on who is making the laws + whose interests are at stake - Definition of criminal = result of power struggles  politics - Crimes are acts or activities  mala prohibita (wrong because they are against the law) - Unequal distribution of power affects the administration of criminal justice SOSC 2652 (CJS) – Lecture# 2 – Themes of Criminal Justice September 13 , 2012 Themes of the Criminal Justice: 1) Due Process and Crime Control 2) The Myth of “the System” 3) Discretion 4) Accountability 5) Inequality 6) Socio-Historical Context Due Process and Crime Control: 1) Due Process:  Concerned to limit, guide and structure official discretion and powers  The end does not justify the means  Emphasis on individual and procedural rights of the accused: „better to acquit 10 parties than to convict one innocent person”  Presumption of innocence  Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedom – most important  Constitutional rights of citizens + those suspected of committing crime 2) Crime Control:  Emphasis on controlling crime, protection of the public and rights of victims  Focus on deterrence and incapacitation of offenders  Reducing crime by taking people who commit crime & locking them up  Criminal justice authorities should have as much discretion and power as necessary to respond to the crime – “the end justifies the means”  Strong presumption of guilt and confidence  CJS confident they are able to separate the innocent/guilty at the policing and prosecution stages The Myth of “the System” - Conflicts between different stages/ components  Ex. judges – believe that the punishment should fit the crime  ex. parole - Conflicts in relation to a single stage/ component - Competing interests: offenders, victims and communities, justice systems - Bail:  1869: Bail discretionary for all offences  1972: Bail Reform Act codified reasons for keeping accused in custody  To ensure the accused‟s attendance in court  Protection against the criminal offences before trial  In the public interest  the moral character of the accused is taken into consideration  1975: Criminal Law Amendment Act introduced reverse onus for some offences  General rule – the accused argues why they should be released  S. 11(e) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: the right not to be denied bail without reasonable cause  1992: Supreme Court of Canada upheld the reverse onus provisions  R. v. Pearson, R. v. Morales  2007: Bill C-35: extended the reverse onus provisions to include all firearms offences or offences involving other regulated weapons  Release is the general rule of bail  Unless reverse onus applies, prosecution must „show cause‟ to oppose release  S. 515(10) of the CCC: grounds justifying detention  Ensure attendance in court  For protection of the public  To maintain confidence in the administration of justice Themes from the Husbands Case: - Due Process and Crime Control? - Myt
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