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Judges are very important people in the society since they solve cases that determine the next phase of a person’s life. Thus, they require various people who they can trust and work within the judicial system. The judiciary is an independent entity, but as is always the case, each entity needs help from other sources (Boyea, 2013).
The judiciary has to build its internal relationships to ensure smooth running of the judicial system. These internal relationships are important and relevant to each of the courts. The level of its independence and interdependence on other systems determine whether the judge’s work is effective or not.
The Role of Judges
A judge refers to an individual who is authorized and qualified to make a decision. A judge is a public officer to the court making judgments on the legal lawsuits based on either the substantive or procedural bylaws. In the U.S court system, a magistrate presides over the proceedings taking place in the courtrooms. In fact, judges have no authority to carry out investigations, but they can authorize an investigation to be carried out.
The commonly known kinds of magistrates in the U.S court system are the appellate as well as the trial law-court juries. A trial court judge often controls the trials from the beginning to the end (Stephenson, 2013). They take part in all details of the case including but not limited to setting the trial schedule, giving advice to the jury, and sentencing a guilty defendant.
The appellate judge hears appeals from the trial courts, reviews them, and decides whether there was injustice or not. Judges work in different courtrooms and listen to cases of diverse types and are either elected or appointed. Judges have to be of good behavior at all times since they must adhere to ethical rules.
The juries may only hold office when these ethical rules are followed to the latter. A jury may be removed from office through impeachment, and this only occurs when there is a violation of ethical or legal rules. The judges have to be impartial (Swanson, 2011). They have to make their ruling without being biased.
The judge has various roles both inside and outside the courtroom. The juries play a significant role in controlling public morality. In the U.S court system, judges rule on issues that affect each citizen. Judges listen to allegations brought by the prosecutors, the attorney defenders, and the testimony of the witnesses and rule whether the evidence is valid or not.
Judges then give instructions to the jury on how to apply both the procedural and substantive laws and standards in the case (Boyea, 2013). Judges also have the task of asking the witnesses questions and finally rule on the cases presented. Magistrates are mandated to make decisions regarding the crime and issue verdicts on the case based on the available evidence.
In most cases, the law is interpreted with the aid of judges. They find out various laws, regulations, and explain them to the public. Judges also see that other court staffs do their work according to the U.S court system. Besides, judges set meetings with attorneys of the opposing parties to discuss various cases and find a way out probably by encouraging a settlement.
Finally, judges are mandated to set up the rules and procedures of the court (Swanson, 2011). They control how the court proceedings take place and ensure that there is order during the court session by both parties and the witnesses. Often, this is to make sure that there is a fair trial in the court.
An independent judiciary is important in a democratic government. It creates a sense of trust for the citizens knowing that they will get justice fairly. Thus, as is the case in the U.S court system, judges have to be independent of the government. Judges should be free to make their decisions without facing pressure or interference from other sources. Though independent, the juries use information from other personnel to ensure that the court proceedings run smoothly, and cases are ruled fairly.
The courthouse personnel include the legal officer, the suspect’s defense advocate, and the prosecuting attorney. These three personnel have a great relationship given that they use other personnel to offer effective court proceedings. These interdependent relationships ensure that the external relationships are maintained, and there is peace in the criminal justice system (Stephenson, 2013). The personnel also help judges by doing what the judges cannot do for themselves.
The prosecutors help by investigating and finding evidence of the suspected crimes. If the prosecutors do not do their job well, impunity is bound to take place in the society. The other personnel include court representative or steward, court administrator, the correspondent and the suspect. The law court representative offers security to the courthouse while the administrator is the office worker when courtroom procedures happen.
The court correspondent archives what happens throughout the hearing sessions. All these people have their area of expertise with different bases of powers. They all do their work with a common goal of administering justice.
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Hence, this helps maintain group togetherness and reduce irregularities when applying both the procedural and substantive laws (Boyea, 2013). These relationships lead to good working relationships, which consequently lead to better negotiations. It determines how the courtroom personnel relate with each other during court proceedings.
In conclusion, the ethical and legal standards applicable in the criminal judicial systems help in upholding the relationships that are important for the judges to offer fair trials. During court sessions, the juries need to concentrate on the cases at hand and delegate some duties to others. Therefore, they need each personnel of the courtroom.
Boyea, B. (2013). Reflecting on the role of state judges. Judicature, 97(3): 153-155.
Stephenson, D. (2013). The judicial bookshelf. Journal of Supreme Court History, 38(3): 438-454.
Swanson, R. (2011). Judicial roles in state high courts. Judicature, 94(4): 150-168.