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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Victoria, Australia, scraps Double Jeopardy laws - September 14th 2011, 12:25 PM

For those that don't know, double jeopardy is a safeguard to protect human rights in criminal cases. It has been an integral part of criminal systems all over the world for centuries. It essentially states that an accused in a crime cannot be charged with the same offence (with the same facts/instances) twice if he's found not guilty at trial. E.g. if a man is charged with murdering his brother, and is found not guilty at trial, he cannot be charged with the murder of his brother again. It is possible to appeal, but it's rare in cases these days.

So, Victoria, Australia is thinking of completely scrapping these laws.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Age newspaper
Reopening the investigation into the deaths of two slain police officers will be the ‘‘highest priority’’ for police when the state government scraps double jeopardy laws.


Thoughts?

My thoughts: WTF? That is all.


Because in the end, it doesn't even matter.
   
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dr2005 Offline
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Re: Victoria, Australia, scraps Double Jeopardy laws - September 14th 2011, 05:34 PM

Just to clarify, double jeopardy laws do not prevent you being tried for the same incident under a different legal system provided that it has jurisdiction - to give the most commonly used example, a person may be found not guilty of the criminal offence of murder but may still be found liable in the civil court for unlawful killing. Likewise, it wouldn't interfere with the operation of a court martial or similar military tribunal as again it is a different legal system. As such, double jeopardy is not an absolute bar to being prosecuted again for the same offence, but it does close off the criminal law route in most cases.

Anyway, I can understand your reaction to the situation - it does sound like a pretty drastic encroachment on a person's right to a fair trial. However, England and Wales removed the absolute double jeopardy prohibition with the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which allows a case to be sent for retrial if substantial new evidence is raised. Similarly, the European Convention on Human Rights permits double jeopardy "if there is evidence of new or newly discovered facts, or if there has been a fundamental defect in the previous proceedings, which could affect the outcome of the case." I'm surprised Victoria are planning to scrap them completely, and would have serious misgivings if that were the case, but some modification of them as per the manner above is both compatible with human rights and in some instances a desirable outcome - it would, to give one example, have prevented the Emmett Till trial debacle in the 1950s from standing.


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If you're referring to dr2005's response, it's not complex, however, he has a way with words .
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Re: Victoria, Australia, scraps Double Jeopardy laws - September 14th 2011, 07:45 PM

Absolutely ridiculous, but not surprising considering it's fricking Australia. The country that tried to ban hammers.


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Re: Victoria, Australia, scraps Double Jeopardy laws - September 14th 2011, 10:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerTank77 View Post
Absolutely ridiculous, but not surprising considering it's fricking Australia. The country that tried to ban hammers.
This is basically how I feel.


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Re: Victoria, Australia, scraps Double Jeopardy laws - September 15th 2011, 05:11 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerTank77 View Post
Absolutely ridiculous, but not surprising considering it's fricking Australia. The country that tried to ban hammers.
This made me lol.

The police in Australia also prosecuted someone for wearing a studded belt. http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/3587

Actually, the appeal was allowed, so he was able to keep the studded belt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr2005
Anyway, I can understand your reaction to the situation - it does sound like a pretty drastic encroachment on a person's right to a fair trial. However, England and Wales removed the absolute double jeopardy prohibition with the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which allows a case to be sent for retrial if substantial new evidence is raised. Similarly, the European Convention on Human Rights permits double jeopardy "if there is evidence of new or newly discovered facts, or if there has been a fundamental defect in the previous proceedings, which could affect the outcome of the case." I'm surprised Victoria are planning to scrap them completely, and would have serious misgivings if that were the case, but some modification of them as per the manner above is both compatible with human rights and in some instances a desirable outcome - it would, to give one example, have prevented the Emmett Till trial debacle in the 1950s from standing.
I read that this morning in the Newspaper, actually. There is still little shed light on the matter. As of today, I've heard nothing more than "praise" from the media for the Bill (I'm inclined to believe that because there is about to be a government inquiry into print media, they're erring on the side of caution at the moment), saying how it will allow cold cases to be retried and how it will be a 'godsend' to the people. I do agree with changing the laws to allow for new evidence, but I don't believe the DPP and the police should be allowed to try someone over and over again (and possibly held in remand throughout) without clear and sufficient evidence - which, to me, is the 'vibe' I'm getting from the word 'scrap.' A blatant disregard for human rights, if they do scrap it.

Edit: I can't wait to read the amendment Bill when they publicly release it.


Because in the end, it doesn't even matter.

Last edited by Age of Ignorance; September 15th 2011 at 05:21 AM.
   
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