Court Issues Analysis
Court Issues Analysis
Administration and management of courts is filled with challenges. Often depending upon the geographical context of the court, such challenges will include resource shortage, a perpetual docket of criminal cases and the broader complexity of providing civil order and justice to communities while balancing constitutional law and local ordinance. Moreover, the complexity of administering justice in and of itself plays a part in the difficulty of court management, with issues such as the deepening ethnic diversity of encountered populations and shifting ideas about victims’ rights playing defining roles in the tasks before any given ...view middle of the document...
According to the Missouri Courts, all courts are recommended to employ interpreters approved by a federal certification program overseen by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) Consortium for Language Access in the Courts as implemented in 2000. This calls for the use of unbiased and fully qualified language interpreters. The availability of this resource is girded by legislative terms as well, which indicate that “by law, courts shall appoint a qualified foreign language interpreter in all legal proceedings in which a non-English speaking person is a party or a witness (Section 476.803.1, RSMo).” And in the event that such is necessary, the Missouri Courts continue, “Advise the court directly when services are needed so that they have adequate time to schedule qualified service providers” (MC, 2010). This denotes that it is incumbent upon those in need of an interpreter to make the proper arrangements to request the necessary support and, simultaneously, it is incumbent upon the court to provide the requesting individual with access to such personnel (MC, 2010).
In the past, the focus of criminal justice procedures had typically been on the punishment of criminal behavior. This meant that within the context of legal proceedings, the experience of the victim has often been secondary or relegated to non-consideration as the resources of jurisprudence are dedicated to finding the truth of the alleged perpetrator’s guilt or innocence. And because the system proceeds from an innocent-until-proven-guilty disposition, it has historically been difficult to simultaneously maintain the objectivity required of the courts while attending to the needs, rights and sensitivities of the alleged victim. This would create a scenario in which the advocacy of victims’ rights would emerge as a critical area of need where court management is concerned. It is thus that “in 2004, the movement to redraft the Sixth Amendment achieved a partial victory when Congress passed the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA), which pledged that these rights to be present and to be heard would be implemented in federal court proceedings” (Muraskin & Roberts, 2004).
This would help to expand the implications of such court proceedings by introducing another dimension of justice to the process of adjudication. That is, for the court administrator, there is today a responsibility to simultaneously see that justice is carried out with respect to the facts surrounding the defendant but also to ensure that the victim’s role as a witness does not also place this individual in a context to be bullied or intimidated by the defense proceedings. This denotes a condition today where the victim is afforded certain protections designed to offset some of the practical challenges related to the philosophical presentation of defendant as innocent until proven...