Legal Studies Essay

Equality is all about equal treatment. It means that everyone is treated the same. That is all people are entitled to enjoy the same rights and opportunities and no-one should be privileged or disadvantaged. Equality is an objective concept. That is we can judge on the facts presented to us whether or not people have been given equal treatment or opportunity.

Fairness aims to achieve equal outcomes. It doesnt allow for bias or prejudice. Fairness ideally is a part of all laws, but the reality is some laws are unfair. This is because to be fair wouldnt be a good thing. Laws are required to be more than fair, but also just.

The law can be very confusing to people who are not involved in it personally. Reasons to why people may find law confusing is because of the law jargon. Complex language is used that the general public cant understand. An example of law jargon is the word testimony. Testimony is the statement made by a witness in court, usually under oath, that is offered as evidence for the truth of what is has been stated. Another reason to why the law may be confusing is that lawyers may be the only ones who understand it. Lawyers understand all laws and know what consequences will occur once breaking the law. The public find this confusing and are unaware of laws and may think that what they are doing is right when it is a law breaking offence.

We are presented with a very different image of the law through television. The law that we are presented with on television is very different from the real situation which happens in court. There are many different law programs shown on television which show the courts and have a court case laid out for them to handle. Examples of programs which are based around law are;

Law and Order Ten

Law and Order SVU - Ten

Judging Amy - Ten

The Practise - Seven

The Bill ABC

Ally McBeal Seven

The Monk Ten

Other shows arent based around court scenes, but include the law.

Blue Heelers Seven

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Nine

Without a Trace Nine

Third Watch Nine

Stingers Nine

Water Rats Nine

White Collar Blue - Ten

These shows may, at times, give the viewers a different image of what may actually happen in the court in real life.

Our perception of the law is effected by our background in a severe way. The way we were brought up is what plays a factor in our perception of the law. For example, Aboriginal children have been brought up in the way that if they see a policeman/policewomen it means bad things for them and they should run. A great example of this is that of what happened 3 weeks ago with the death of T.J Hickey. Whilst riding his bike, he saw a police car patrolling the streets, and started to ride faster in fear. He ended up impaling himself into a fence. The factors to why he was running away from the police has yet to of been decided by the Coroner.

Justice has two meanings;

1. Whether a decision is good or fair according to universal principals, and,

2. Refers to vengeance. I.e. punishment of criminals.

Justice can be implemented by the following;

Corrective Justice This occurs when a wrong requires correction or punishment. E.g. paying to repair damage done to a persons property.

Distributive Justice this is an attempt to ensure that all people receive equal treatment according to their status or position in society.

Justice is a combination between many things, the most important of which are equality and fairness. Lady Justice symbolises the ideals of the legal system.

Lady Justice is blindfolded for impartiality, meaning that she can see the offending people and be prejudice towards them.

The scales are for the decision. That the decision will achieve a fair result involving equal and fair outcomes for everyone.

The sword is to carry out the justice.

Justice can be achieved through the following characteristics:

o It treats all people equally

o It is based on religious or ethical precepts to which most people subscribe

o It aims to ensure the