I am admitted in the Supreme Court of South Australia as a Barrister Associate. I specialised in major indictable offences which include but not limited to murder, manslaughter, rape and other minor indictable offences which include but not limited to serious criminal trespass, indecent assault, stalking and property damage (less than $30,000 but more than $2501).
A crime is an offence that merits community condemnation and punishment, usually by way of fine or imprisonment. This is different from a civil wrong (a tort), which is an action against an individual that requires compensation or restitution. The relevance of the Rule of Law is demonstrated by application of the following principles in practice:
- The separation of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.
- The law is made by representatives of the people in an open and transparent way.
- The law and its administration are subject to open and free criticism by the people, who may assemble without fear.
- The law is applied equally and fairly so that no one is above the law.
- The law is capable of being known to everyone so that everyone can comply.
- No one is subject to any action by any government agency other than in accordance with the law and the model litigant rules, no one is subject to any torture.
- The judicial system is independent, impartial, open and transparent and provides a fair and prompt trial.
- All people are presumed to be innocent until proven otherwise and are entitled to remain silent and are not required to incriminate themselves.
- No one can be prosecuted, civilly or criminally, for any offence not known to the law when committed.
- No one is subject adversely to a retrospective change of the law.
Department of Justice Roleplay Community only focuses their aspect of the law in the criminal jurisdiction, where the executive part of the government (Law enforcement agencies) is enforcing the criminal legislation within Los Santos. However, it is important to understand the key principles of the criminal law principles, and that being:
- Innocent until proven guilty (the presumption of innocence): The basis of our system of criminal justice is that a person, although charged with an offence, is considered innocent until proved guilty of the offence. The magistrate, judge or jury, as the case may be, must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the person is guilty. Where there is a reasonable doubt, the person must be acquitted (that is, found to be not guilty of the offence).
- The burden of proof: The prosecution has the task of proving the guilt of the person who is charged with an offence (the defendant). For the defendant to be found guilty of an offence, it must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. It is not up to the defendant to establish her or his innocence.
- This rule applies in all criminal trials, although sometimes is up to the defendant to give evidence of a certain point in the defence case. For example, in those offences which prohibit a certain act 'without reasonable excuse', the defendant must explain her or his excuse, although it is up to the prosecution to prove that the excuse is not reasonable.
- Right to remain silent: Generally, a person is not required to answer police questions. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. The main exception is that a police officer can request the name and address of a person found committing an offence, or who the police officer has reasonable cause to suspect has committed, or is about to commit, an offence or of a person who may be able to assist in the investigation of an offence or suspected offence.
- Double jeopardy: The principle of criminal law called the double jeopardy rule is that no person should be punished more than once for the same offence and that no person ought to be placed twice in jeopardy (at risk) of being convicted. This means that a person who has been charged, tried and acquitted cannot be charged again for the same matter. However, often a new trial is ordered where for example, an appellate court overturns a conviction or where the first trial resulted in a hung jury or a mistrial.
I do not supply any legal advice for members in Department of Justice Roleplay Community, however, I may provide professional advice.