Essay by tunetown187University, Bachelor'sA-, March 2002

download word file, 13 pages 4.2

The history of a legal system dates back to the times of the Old Testament with Mosaic Law and to the times of Napoleon's Napoleonic Laws. The actor's roles in the legal system have throughout time been changing to fit their times. In the past, complainants and respondents could argue their cases before a judge themselves. Today each party is likely to hire lawyers to argue their cases for them. In the criminal justice system, prosecutors who are funded by the government represent the people, and defence lawyers who are privately paid or paid by the government represent the accused. In his book, Ericson argues that through time in Canada the accused has played very little to no role in his own defence and depends entirely on his lawyer who makes his living in the criminal justice system. Because of this, he argues that the accused is more of a dependant than a defendant.

For Ericson this is a problem and he shows facts about why the Canadian Justice System needs to be reformed.

One of the main themes in Ericson's book is that the accused does not know the details of the criminal justice system and therefore is completely dependant on his lawyer to secure his future. The way Ericson puts it, it seems as though he sees the criminal justice system as another world, where police, judges, prosecutors and defence attorneys live and conduct their everyday lives and even speak another language. When the police arrest an accused, he is pulled into that world, which he does not know anything about, and is dependant on his lawyer to get him out of that world or negotiate a settlement so that he can get out as soon as possible. In that different world, the actors are familiar with each...