I`m quite sure that every day dozens of defendants consider that they have had a raw deal from the justice system such as it is. I`m equally sure that just as many complainants consider that they too did not receive the quality of justice they had expected. I also think it not unlikely that in both categories above there is an equal number who would respond if asked about the quality of justice in their own personal circumstance that they did not expect any better. The standard of justice dispensed daily in our courts could be considered the tip of the judicial iceberg the unseen 90% being the hundreds of years of legal precedents and statutes upon which our legal system is based. However to most of the public that history means nothing at all. Considering that confidence in the terms of our law `n order is an essential requisite for a civilised society it is a mistake to think that it can withstand the many apparent aspersions thrown at it from the likes of the Daily Mail and other media.
One area of public concern is the ability or otherwise of this country to have control over its own borders and to be able to deport those who transgress our laws. The Human Rights Act has nothing to do with the European Union but confusion easily arises in a generally accepted sceptic population. The result is a disrespect for the lawmakers.
An article in the Daily Telegraph has highlighted the fact that in 2011 250 foreign nationals convicted of serious offences were spared deportation. A legal system cannot be based on “populist” support but equally it must be felt by most people, using that favourite word of D. Cameron, to be “fair”.
Equally puzzling to some might be the hiding from the jury in the recent Tomlinson case of the accused police officer`s employment history insofar as it was considered prejudicial to him. Apparently the matter of this disclosure was argued in the jury`s absence. Perhaps some time that argument will be made public. In the Stephen Lawrence trial much was known about the history of both men accused who were subsequently found guilty. Of course there were many years for the topic to make the headlines prior to the trial so in an imaginary time shift if the Tomlinson case had come to court some years in the future when the defendant`s unsavoury past would have almost certainly become public knowledge it would have been known to the jury and the verdict might have been different.