The law is a system of rules, usually enforced through a set of institutions. Laws can shape of reflect society, economics or politics, and are based upon morals, ethics and values of the society the law is inflicted upon. Naturally, each individual in the society have responsibilities that they must take on. In regards to law, for example, each individual has the responsibility to have an understanding of the rule of law. Whereas, in regards to law, an individual has the right to procedural fairness and access to the law. So, what are the rights and responsibilities of individuals really?
The rule of law is that no one is above the law. Aristotle claimed that the rule of law is above any rule of the individual. For example: a policeman kills a person without warrant or reason, but does not turn himself in, due to the fact that he is an officer of the law, and believes that the rule of law does not apply to him. No relevance to Waring case. Procedural fairness is also known as natural justice, and is applied when a decision that has been made may have a detrimental effect on the rights, interests and legitimate expectations of an individual.
Therefore, any person who may encounter detrimental effects on these rights should be afforded procedural fairness. Procedural fairness focuses on both parties being treated fairly and equally, and includes the right to be heard, the right to be treated without bias, the right to be informed of allegations being made and to be provided with an opportunity to respond to them and the right to information regarding the status of the complaint. During his trial, Patrick Waring was hardly given the right of procedural fairness.
After the allegations were made, the police took Patrick into custody, and before his parents arrived at the station, their son had already been arrested. Without any evidence against him, only the word of a teenage girl, 15 year old Patrick was being treated like a criminal. The Waring family found that the legal system of WA were not acting justly, and rather had to turn to a private investigator. This in itself tells us of the unjust treatment Patrick was receiving, and how the Waring family felt that they weren’t being heard by the legal system; the cardinal rule of procedural fairness.
The Waring family did have a defence team, but procedural fairness outlines the fair and just treatment of both parties. It is believed that Patrick may have been treated this way due to his gender and age. Stereotype tells society that a teenage boy is the perfect criminal to fit a case involving rape. The second rule of procedural fairness outlines that an individual should be treated without bias. Before any investigations had been made, the DPP assumed that Patrick Waring was guilty. Is this bias?
On the night of the arrest, Patrick was not clearly informed of his alleged crime, and was not given a chance to respond to them. The DPP intentionally cornered Patrick and made sure that his parents were unable to be beside him while he was being questioned. Is this procedural fairness? The whole case was one of ‘he said, she said’. The DPP believed every word spoken by the girl, and didn’t think to collect evidence before arresting Patrick. Whether you are the complainant or the accused, you are granted access to the law.
The Waring family were made to pay all the legal funds, whereas the complainant had everything paid for. Before Patrick’s trial, the family claimed to have average income, but due to their denial of access to the law, the Waring family have now double-mortgaged their house. The Waring family did have access to the law in the sense that they had a defence team, but did not feel that they were receiving it completely, and turned to Robin Napper fdgkjkl;dsk;aklefjgkfgfkjfear im sorry i don’t have a text book and there is no definition of access to law on the internet.