Court History and Purpose Paper Priscilla Salary Intro to criminal court systems,’ACACIA December 18, 2014 Russell Celebrate, AMP What is Court? The Court is where disputes are settled, law is born and where individuals accused of criminal crimes are held for trial and sent before a judge to determine their fate. Courts are simply the civilized way of handling an issue in a legal organized manner. It is a critical component of American justice system.
Courts id defined by the book as, “An agency or unit of the judicial branch of government, authorized or established by statue or constitution, ND consisting of one or more judicial officers, which has authority to decide upon cases, controversies in law, and disputed matters of fact brought before it. ” (Siegel, Schmeltzer, & World, 2011). There are four important functions or purposes of the court, Courts are to uphold the law, protect individuals, resolve disputes, and reinforce the social norms.
The Dual Court System In the United States we have what is referred to as a dual court system. A dual court system is a judicial system comprising federal and state level judicial systems. The dual court systems separates federal and state courts. According to our book a dual court system is advantageous and desirable because it is parallel to federalism. Federalism is a system of government where power is constitutionally divided between central governing body and various constituent units.
In the Ignited States, the federal government makes laws, but federalism also gives the states power to make their own laws (Siegel, Schmeltzer, & World, 2011). Cooperative Federalism means that some lines between federal and state power are blurred. Article 1 , Section 8, of the U. S. Constitution gives the federal government the power to regulate interstate commerce, but this authority has been interpreted broadly such that the federal government can control much of what happens at the state level (Siegel, Schmeltzer, & World, 2011).
Court History Throughout history “law’ has been fluid and changing. Some of the early legal codes such as common law, modern statutes, constitutions, and the like have all built a legal foundation for the legal system. Early legal codes also known as the Code Of Hamburg is known as the earliest example of formal written codes. The early codes had a strong expression of “an eye for an eye” philosophy. The Twelve Tables another formal legal principle were the law of the Roman. The twelve tables was the first secular written legal code.
This code stated, “If one has maimed another and does not buy his peace, let the retaliation in kind. ” Both the Code of Hamburg and the Twelve Tables were harsh and crude; they were the offset toward the need of formalized law. In this country there is a strong tradition of common law, which owes much to our British heritage. Common law emphasizes the importance of judicial decisions not the codified law that can be found in state penal codes. Judges tot only did they issue decisions but they would write them down.
The decisions were then circulated to other judges; this was a measure of uniformity from one court to another. This was literally the law “in common” throughout England, and it came to be known as the common law. Precedent refers to prior action that guides current action. In the common law context this meant that judges decisions were guided by earlier decisions. This ensured continuity and predictability. If a judges decisions radically changed from one judge to the next or one place to the next, or both, then the moon law would be anything but common.
It is always easier for a judge to fall back on prior decisions, if not then judges would continually reinvent the wheel. Stare Decides a Latin word for “to stand by things decided,” which would stand for the formal practice of adhering to precedent. Stare Decides and Precedent have the same meaning to stand by your word. So therefore meaning for a judge to stand by his/her decision made at the time or any prior decisions made. Roles of Courts Today Adjudication and oversight are important key roles in the criminal justice system. The protection of public safety and smooth operations of the system are based on the two.
Without adjudication, arrest that is made by law enforcement would be in vain. Courts also provide oversight in the American criminal justice system. Courts oversee the operations of criminal justice officials, this oversight is not direct. Courts only get involved once a particular matter comes to the attention of the appellate court. Then is when the decision is publicized and made available for any interested authorities to read and implement. Due to the fact that all decisions are not published, articulacy in the lower courts it limits the oversight function.