Miscarriage of justice
A miscarriage of justice is one Error in fact made by a Jurisdiction of judgment in its appreciation of the culpability of a continued person . This definition supposes that a jurisdiction, which was informed, following this error, of the business, can find this error and to neutralize it. It is the legal authority itself which recognizes the existence of a miscarriage of justice.
It cannot be a question moreover but of one error in fact, i.e. of one error relating to the existence of a fact or in the appreciation of a situation . They are evidence which would have been non-existent or impossible to interpret at the time of the judgment and which occurs later on, or evidence which was not sufficiently taken into account, or which was precisely taken into account more than they would not have owed the being.
ProblemsThe miscarriage of justice poses many problems to justice:
- justice balks to admit its errors (risk of loss of authority);
- justice is human and reality is complex;
- the public and the media push justice to be acted quickly;
- a too great error count discredits justice.
Admission of its errors by justiceOf its own point, justice must be respected. If she too easily admits her errors nobody will not make him confidence and the Rule of law could crumble.
For the citizens, a justice must be stable. If justice recovers too easily causes some, the lawsuits could become eternal and unforeseeable.
However the error is known as human . Justice is returned by men far from being infallible but it must be right.
The complexity of realityThe absolute proof of the culpability of an individual is very rare. Justice cannot thus function with certainty. Certain businesses are still not solved after more than two hundred years.
The judges should not thus base themselves only on the file to judge but also call upon their inward conviction. It is on this point that the public and the media can have an influence.
The role of the public opinion and the mediaThe majority of the miscarriage of justices took place in a difficult climate, often because of the gravity of the reproached crime.
The public opinion wants in reaction the culprit and the authorities are under the pressure of the voters. It is necessary to alleviate the voters while advancing in the business. In the most serious cases, this attitude can be connected to that of the Athenians who considered that a catastrophe in a city was inevitably related to the force of the one as of their which was to have upset a god (ex: Oedipus).
The media, them are subjected to the risks of the TV rating and can pour in the Sensationnalisme, to increase their audience.
Superior interest of Justice?In any company, the interest of the individuals is secondary vis-a-vis the interest of the community. The evolution of our company is to have given rights to the individuals vis-a-vis the State.
A too authoritative justice, would become arbitrary and would not receive any more the support of its members. On another side, a too weak justice would not fulfill its role and the private Justice would replace it.
One can notice that it is because of the public service of justice that for a long time the French State refused to admit faults in legal affairs.
SolutionsThe fight against the miscarriage of justices is not very easy but means can avoid the most obvious errors:
- justice is independent of the executive;
- justice observes a specific procedure;
- the police force takes care of the secrecy of the instruction;
- the police force inquires with load and discharge;
- the lawsuits are revisable.
These solutions relate to three bodies:
- the police force;
The police forceThe police force comes in first in the chronological order of the process, it is it which with the responsibility for the investigation. Thus so theoretically, justice has also a capacity on the investigation ( to see: role of the Public ministry in France ) this one trusts the work of the police force.
Training of the police officers and the role of the StateBefore the investigation, the police force is formed to observe the legal procedure and with the respect of the suspects what is responsibility for the State. Businesses of police bur and miscarriage of justice took place because of the inexperience of the police officers or the will of the State to repress more than to seek reality ( to see: totalitarian State ).
Prudence and independence of the police officersDuring the investigation, the police force applies what one taught him and avoids going too quickly. What some call “the sense of smell” should not guide the investigation completely, to avoid eagerness. Some rehabilitated, upon the departure shouted their innocence (ex: Business Dreyfus). The police officers must also be able to deviate from the public pressure, while being opposed to the media and the political pressures, in particular by the certainty not to risk too strong reprisals.
A business is never classifiedAfter the investigation, the police force follows the business without directing it. Even in the same classified case the new evidence is re-examined.
The policemen can be blamed in the event of serious error. The State has an effective police force of the police forces which gives real dissuasive sanctions.
JusticeJustice is not satisfied to judge the business, it is recipient in the business.
It intervenes at three times:
- it accompanies the investigation by the police force;
- it sanctions the errors of its agents;
- it judges in neutrality.
Justice and the police forceThe role first of justice is to accompany the police force. Indeed, the purpose of the various mandates, letters of request, etc are not only to frame the mission of the police force. The judge takes care of the legality of the requests and the situation. Certain miscarriage of justices result from an agreement from the police force and justice with a media aim (ex: Business of Outreau).
The sanction: guarantee against the miscarriage of justicesMoreover, justice is guarded against the abuses the police force but also against his (the police force of the police forces, disciplinary commissions on the magistrates).
The employees of justice must fear the miscarriage of justice, not only for ethical questions but also for their hierarchical position.
Justice must be blind but not deafJustice slices in an equitable way, in the direction where the two parts (innocence, culpability) must be heard same manner. However, justice is not deaf and accepts the search for new investigations (ex: business Patrick Dils).
Justice is independent of the public opinion, the media and its clean a-priori.
MediaThe media are essential a professional ethic.
- List of the miscarriage of justices
- Nerves with sharp (film, 1991)
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