A characteristic of an effective criminal justice system is the ability to change in response to changes in society. The criminal justice system has been successful in balancing the rights of victims, offenders and society during the criminal investigation process from new legislations constructed reflecting society’s demands and enhancing justice. A crime is an act or omission committed against the community at large that is punishable by the state. An offender is a person who commits an offence which is a breach of a law or rule; an illegal act. A victim is the person who suffers some kind of harm as the result of the offender’s action. This includes a person who has been directly harmed or indirectly affected. During the criminal investigation process the suspected offender(s) and victim(s) are set with certain rights to ensure each individual is treated equally with justice. The rights to fair trail, supported by strict rules of evidence and procedure is fundamental to the criminal justice system and this balancing act. Society expects the police to keep them safe and protect them from harm brought on by other people(s). They are also expected to be treated fairly and therefore have specific rights to meet these expectations from society.
Police are responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and for the maintenance of public order. Importantly, it is the police that are responsible for ensuring the criminal laws are observed. The role of the police in the criminal investigation process is to investigate crimes, make arrests if necessary, interrogate suspects and gather evidence (that would substantiate that a crime has occurred). The law imposes certain limits on the way police can gather evidence that can be used, to help ensure the collection of evidence is legitimate and does not interfere with the rights of ordinary citizens. The strict rules of evidence is administered by virtue of the Evidence Act, (NSW). The NSW police force is...
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