The Right to an Impartial Hearing Trumps the Social Imperative of Bringing Accused to Trial Even 'Down Under'

Criminal Law and Philosophy 4 (3):321-339 (2010)
Abstract
Accused persons who are subjected to a saturation level of negative media coverage may be denied an impartial hearing, which is perhaps the most important aspect of the right to a fair hearing. Despite this, the courts have generally held that the social imperative of prosecuting accused trumps the interests of the accused. The justification for an impartial hearing stems from the repugnance of convicting the innocent. Viewed dispassionately, this imperative is not absolute, given that every legal system condones procedures which result in the conviction of some innocent people. While the importance of guarding against wrongful convictions has been overstated, the imperative to bring to trial all accused has been even more exaggerated. The legal system has displayed a capacity to deal with cases where the guilty walk free. The institutional integrity of the criminal justice system would be significantly compromised by convictions that are tarnished by pre-judgment. Confidence in the criminal justice system is more important than individual criminal accountability. The inability to receive an impartial hearing should result in a permanent stay. The only exception is where the alleged crime has the capacity to cause widespread fear or social unrest. This only applies in relation to serious acts of terrorism. This article focuses on recent legal fair trial developments in Australia, however, the analysis, reasoning and conclusion applies in relation to all jurisdictions where juries determine guilt and innocence.
Keywords Right to impartial hearing  Right to prosecute accused persons  Fair hearing right prevails
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,365
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 9 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Peter J. Taylor (1994). Shifting Frames: From Divided to Distributed Psychologies of Scientific Agents. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:304 - 310.
Robert Batterman (1992). Quantum Chaos and Semiclassical Mechanics. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:50 - 65.
H. E. Baber (1987). How Bad Is Rape? Hypatia 2 (2):125 - 138.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-09-13

Total downloads

5 ( #178,894 of 1,089,079 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #69,982 of 1,089,079 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.