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NCJ Number: 218313 Find in a Library
Title: Courts in the 21st Century--Should We Do Things Differently?
Journal: Judicial Review  Volume:8  Issue:1  Dated:September 2006  Pages:23-37
Author(s): P. McClellan
Date Published: September 2006
Page Count: 15
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This paper assesses the historical development of civil and criminal court proceedings in Australia and assesses what might be done differently in courts of the 21st century.
Abstract: Australia inherited the adversarial system, and it persists under the belief that it is the most effective means of resolving disputes and achieving a fair process for conducting civil and criminal proceedings. Dissatisfaction with the cost, inefficiency, effectiveness, and timeliness of formal adversarial proceedings, however, has led to the development of alternative dispute mechanisms, including plea bargaining, mediation, arbitration, and conferencing. The trend is toward offering a variety of options for handling particular civil and criminal cases, depending on the nature of the dispute/offense and the preferences and resources of the parties involved. Efforts to increase the efficiency and accessibility of litigation procedures have been advanced through the use of technology. Technology has influenced communication, information management, and evidence presentation in the context of court proceedings. This paper also discusses trends in the nature and scope of evidence based in expert analysis and testimony, rules of evidence, sentencing, the right of a citizen to use a court to enforce a public right ("standing"), the oral tradition, and the use of juries. In a concluding statement, the author notes that over the latter part of the 20th century western societies have demanded that government and private corporations increase efficiency in the use of the available capital resources, both physical and human. The same expectations have been directed at the courts. Judges, court administrators, and lawyers will be required to modify existing practices in order to ensure that available resources are used efficiently. Policymakers and practitioners will therefore be continually pressured to find more efficient, effective, and accessible ways of addressing crimes and disputes.
Main Term(s): Court reform
Index Term(s): Alternative court procedures; Court management; Court procedures; Foreign courts; Rules of evidence; Sentencing/Sanctions; Technology transfer
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