Chapter 5 Questions for reflection and discussion

Chapter 5 Questions for reflection and discussion


1.       What do you think are the primary objectives of the criminal justice system? How far are they consistent?

2.       How can the tension between the ‘due process’ and ‘crime control’ or ‘bureaucratic’ models of criminal justice be managed?

3.       What are the strengths and weaknesses of the statistical information we have on the criminal justice system?

4.       Do the police have too many/too few powers?

5.       Should everyone be required to provide a DNA sample for a national DNA database?

6.       Are the rules of evidence too heavily weighted in favour of the alleged offender?

7.       There has been a lot of publicity given recently to  failures to disclose evidence which has resulted in a number of instances of miscarriage of justice. How should the rules on disclosure be more properly applied?

8.       Should the criminal justice system become more ‘victim-focused’?

9.       What are the primary objectives of sentencing policy?

10.   Why is it so difficult to have a reasoned public debate about sentencing policy?

11.   Are too many people sentenced to prison? What are the alternatives to prison?

12.   Can mandatory sentences be justified? Or should sentencers always retain sentencing discretion?

13.   Should the rules relating to jury trial be changed?

14.   Should it be easier to undertake research into the jury?

15.   Do you think the community justice centre model offers a sensible way forward for the criminal justice system?

16.   Should the pace of reform of the criminal justice system be reduced?

17.   Are administrative penalties, imposed without any court intervention, an appropriate part of the criminal justice system?