Our justice system is broken. The way we deal with crime simply isn’t working any more.
Over the last 30 years, the number of Australians in prison has tripled. It has grown year on year four times faster than the Australian population.
This is unsustainable and is placing extraordinary strain on Justice Department budgets around the country. In fact, we now spend $3 billion dollars a year keeping people in prison.
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The public knows something is wrong with the common law in England and its former colonies. A 2011 poll found that Australian judges are less trusted than bus drivers, police, hairdressers, and chefs, and a US poll in 2012 found that 92 per cent want change to the civil system, and 41 per cent want fundamental change.
Unlike the common law, journalism is a truth-seeking occupation; the basic obligation is to tell the customers what is really going on. Reporters thus have a duty to explore the reality of our adversary system.
Common lawyers, including academics and judges, cannot help. Law schools teach what the common law is, not what ails it or the cure (let alone where it came from or how the other system works).
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