As society changes, the criminal justice system must also change. As the criminal justice system changes it is important to identify areas of the court system that needs changes. Portions of the court system facing changes are the way courts are managed including their problems and resolutions. Victims’ rights have emerged as a new trend in the courts as victims are given the rights to be included in case proceedings. In the future, the courts face a loss of cases to a potential private sector of courts such as arbitration and mediation. These changes and issues should be understood in order for the courts to match the emerging trends.
Court Issues Analysis
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E-filing gives the ability to legal counsel to submit their documents electronically which will cut down on costs and decrease the time to file. Also, having electronic filing will enable courts in different jurisdictions easy access to documents. An electronic court management system will allow judges to be able to track information of complex court cases decreasing the chance of errors based on missed information. Also, a court could take advantage of electronic notifications when dealing with citizens and counsel in alerting them of scheduled proceedings and the obtainment of new information.
The potential problem of using electronic court systems is security. As new software emerges, it includes errors in the setup and security. There is a possibility that information of the courts that is available in electronic form can be obtained by people outside of the court system. Thorough testing is the best solution to providing stable software with strong security. Also, the court will need access to technical staff to support the new systems.
Victim Rights Laws Future Impact
Another future trend in the court system is the impact of victim rights laws. The Victims’ Rights Act of 2004 expanded the involvement of victims throughout criminal proceedings. These expansions included the right of a victim to make a statement during the defendant’s trial, reasonable notice of any public proceedings relating to the crime, and to be present at any proceedings relating to a release from custody (Walker & Katz, 2008). With more involvement by the victims in the proceedings will impact future court proceedings in many ways.
Some argue that having a victim involved in the proceedings will have negative effects including undermining the rights of the defendant, interfering with the case of the prosecution, and the shift from justice to vengeance and personal emotion (Waller, 2009). If a victim was to respond to the court with more emotion than fact the court may not be able to provide sentence or decision without bias which could lead to a mistrial or rulings against the defendant. Also, the victim may divulge false information or information that gives the defense the ability to use against the state. Conversely, some believe that focusing on harm to the victim should be included in the justice system alongside an innocent or guilty verdict (Waller, 2009).
This can also include the right to have media allowed in the courtrooms to introduce the information of a case to the public. Victims may feel the importance of sharing their harm and the acts of the criminal with the public to raise awareness.
Biggest Issue of Courts in the Future
Perhaps the biggest issue facing court systems in the future is the victim’s movement to have their cases handled outside of the court system and through...