Courtroom standards analysis
|Advocacy, Forensic Science, 🏛️ Justice, 🕵🏻♀️ Criminology, 👨🏻⚖️ Criminal Justice
A courtroom can be described as the official chamber for the transaction of judicial business. Various individuals in the courtroom usually have different roles. Some of the courtroom personnel include prosecutors, lawyers, and security among others. This essay will evaluate the functions of the prosecutors and the defense counsel personnel. The dependencies of both personnel mentioned will also be discussed to ascertain whether the dependency nature is beneficial or not. Furthermore, this paper will discuss the ethical and legal standards applicable to the participants. Finally, the paper will discuss how the participants impact the justice system in shaping both substantive and procedural law.
Role of prosecutors in the courtroom
In any courtroom, the prosecutors have a special and demanding role of ensuring that a just verdict is served by the end of the trial process. Since in most cases the prosecution team represents the government or crime victims, they have the burden of proving their case by convincing either the judge or the jury team that a crime was committed by using credible evidence relevant to the case (American Bar Association, 2017).
The role of the prosecutor is therefore crucial in the courtroom setting since they seek to reform the administration of criminal justice. In fact, when injustices arise either in procedural or substantive law, the prosecution team have the role of remedying the situation. The prosecutors are also mandated to maintain proper working relations with the defense team and also support the court authority by holding dignity in the courtroom in line with the code or professionalism.
Role of defense counsel personnel
The defense counsel personnel represent individuals or companies charged with a crime. They usually appear in court with the individual being charged with a crime hence they are considered as law enforcers in some cases. Their role spans from interviewing the witnesses to understand the case, negotiate plea deals, select the jury and represent the accused in the courtroom during the trial (American Bar Association, 2017). In fact, in the United States where the 5th Amendment does not require the accused to testify, the defense counsel acts as their representative. As one of the most important participants in the courtroom, the defense is bound to advance any arguments on behalf of the accused professionally to ensure the accused is only convicted if the state establishes guilt.
As mentioned above, several participants in the courtroom fulfill different roles. All the tasks performed by all these individuals are interdependent. In fact, the different groups have to interact in various capacities hence they upload a certain degree of relationships that allow for the resolution of the case. However, judicial independence is crucial in maintaining justice because it ensures that the courtroom participants embrace meaningful working relationships (Miller, 2006). Judicial autonomy is practiced in the justice system, but this does not mean that the prosecutors, judges or the defense team render judgments according to their preferences. The independence of the prosecution and defense teams allows for effective maintenance of human rights standards and the rule of law. Despite their independence, all participants are influenced by their colleagues due to the different knowledge areas they possess.
Every participant in the courtroom has several ethical and legal standards that they have to follow. They are required to strictly adhere to these rules to maintain a balance in the justice system. For instance, the judge has to comply with the constitution to make a proper decision concerning the outcome of a criminal case. Also, the judges involved in the case have to conform to the law ethically to argue out their case in favor of their client. The parties involved in the case also have a role of presenting themselves during the proceedings of the court together with their lawyers. The witnesses also have to provide factual accounts of the case when requested to testify. The other participants of the court such as the court reporter, security, clerk and courtroom deputy also must help the judge run the trial process smoothly according to federal laws.
Substantive law is a set of rules that impact the fate of a case while procedural laws are the rules required to be followed to ensure a successful trial. All personnel who participate in the courtroom proceedings during a hearing play a considerable role in shaping the substantive and procedural laws. The role they portray in turn impacts the criminal justice system. For instance, the judge who presides over the court has the task of protecting the rights of both parties and passing judgment based on the evidence presented to the court and the law. Under the federal law, the lawyers from both sides also have a role in defending their clients. All these functions performed by the courtroom personnel have a direct impact on both procedural and substantive law which in overall affects the criminal justice system.
In conclusion, all members of the courtroom have a vital role to play in ensuring a successful trial is achieved (American Bar Association, 2017). All these members have to act as per the constitution by working independently and interdependently to ensure smooth proceeding. They also have to apply both legal and ethical standards during their proceedings since their involvement shapes the criminal justice system through its impact on both substantive and procedural laws.
- American Bar Association. (2017). Prosecution function.
- American Bar Association. (2017). Criminal justice standards for the defense function.
- Miller, M. (2006). Judicial independence, interdependence, and judicial accountability: Management of the courts from the judges’ perspective.