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The Court System Essay, Research Paper

Our court systems have, in recent years, been said to be inefficient, sometimes ineffective, and even

backlogged

to the point where cases have to be dismissed because of how long it takes for them to get to court.

After my

trip to court, these are my opinions and observations on the “Efficiency and Effectiveness of our

Criminal Court

System”. The court procedures of provincial court are very systematic and are carried out very

swiftly. It is

much like a tennis match, the ball, or control in the court, is volleyed back and forth between the

judge (and

court clerk) and the lawyers. The court clerk arraigns the accused, the defence lawyer responses

with how the

accused pleas, if it is “not guilty”, the court clerk asks how the Crown lawyer wishes to proceed and

so forth.

However, this is not so in the Ontario Supreme Court (Trial Division), though similar in methodical

procedures,

the court cases are longer and much more time is spent on each individual part of the case, from

presenting the

evidence to cross- examination of the witness, this is because of the amount of information involved.

The general

atmosphere and behaviour in the Provincial Courtrooms were general loose and calm. The people,

lawyers,

judge, clerk and recorder seem to know each other very well. They joked openly, even while the

court was in

session, the defence lawyer asked if he could persuade the judge into a lighter sentence after the

judge had

already made a decision in a very easy and friendly tone of voice, something seemly unprofessional

that caused

chuckles throughout the courtroom. Where in the Ontario Supreme Court the atmosphere was much

more

serious, professional, strict and at times high in tension. Our current bail system, in either monetary

terms or

personal recognizance, seemed pretty successful in Provincial Court, though not observed in the

Ontario

Supreme Court, all the people did show up for their trial, which included two people on bail for

possession of

marijuana cigarettes. As a final note, no bench warrant was every called for by the judge for people

whom failed

to attend their trial. The necessity of the duty council is for those who don’t have a lawyer and is for

their benefit

that they discuss legal options that the accused might have before proceeding, however this part of

the system is

not very efficient as the court must adjourn for this and thus waste valuable time that could be

otherwise used for

processing other court cases. The Crown Attorney in provincial court was, on the whole, fairly well

prepared,

efficiently bring relevant facts to attention, friendly and well acquainted to the defence lawyers as well

as the

judge, and quick to get to the point that he was trying to prove. There was little time wasted,

between the

arraignment and the sentencing, on the part of the Crown Attorney. In Ontario Supreme Court, the

Crown

Attorney there seemed well prepared, efficient, and quick, however there seemed to be a lack of

personal

evolvement in the case, rather he seemed emotionless, just doing his job, not being familiar with the

judge or

other people in the court room. By the way he presented and dressed, he appeared far more strict

and serious in

conduct and appearance than his Provincial Court counterpart. Calling a remand can be helpful in

that it allows

witnesses, especially key witnesses, to be present at a later date when it is possible for them to

attend the trial,

as duty may call them to do otherwise. The disadvantages, however, are mostly on the accused’s

part, as s/he

must remain in custody longer in order to be brought back to trial. The necessity for a lawyer for

minor offences

can sometimes outweigh the cost the accused must pay for them because the lawyer understands the

law and

how the system works, he might be able to point out some small discrepancies or may suggest what

type and

how much punishment is suitable for the accused’s crime. The lawyer may also point out that if the

person has a

record, how old it really is, as records older than 5 years old that are not cleared are disregarded by

the judge.

They also help the cases progress faster as an accused legal options will be already made clear to

him by his/her

lawyer. Lawyers are absolutely necessary for major cases, as the accused may not understand his

legal rights

clearly or may not know how to defend himself correctly in the correct the manner during trial in

court. Court

judges in Provincial Court were generally looser than those in Ontario Supreme Court as that the one

we saw in

Supreme Court seemed more serious, lacked in emotional expressions, but also easily bored.

However in

Provincial Court, they were serious but there was room for humour and understanding of the

accused’s situation.

Over all they looked like they enjoyed their jobs. All in all, the system we currently have cannot be

any better as

it is efficient as humanly possible without violating

?

327


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