Page |1 Glamorgan ID: 11254432 British Criminal Justice System The criminal justice system within Britain consists of procedures

, laws and codes of conduct to ensure an offender and victims are dealt with fairly. Unfortunately in the past few decades the criminal justice system‟s procedures have been called into question, particularly in relation to the treatment of people with different backgrounds. The investigation procedures, Macpherson report, critical race theory and various other critical works will be used to assess how the criminal justice system was ineffective in providing the Lawrence family justice. Stephen Lawrence was murdered by a gang of racist youths where he “was stabbed twice by the leading thug.”1 Stephen and Duwayne Brooks, Stephen‟s friend, both started to run, where after a little while Stephen fell to the ground. Duwayne then cried for help and also called for an ambulance by using the nearest phone booth. From here many people were involved; they all played a part in the inquiry taken by the Macpherson report. Police conduct was criticized by many, such as the Macpherson Inquiry, where they saw that the actions and the investigation conducted by the police were poor and amounted to racist behaviour. For example, under chapter 10 paragraph 58 of the Macpherson report provides that Mr Groves, a senior officer on the scene, “left… because he believed that there had been some kind of fight. He was plainly casual and unprofessional in this respect. We are forced to the conclusion that his attitude and his dismissive conduct were contributed to, if not wholly caused, by unwitting but clear racism.”2 Here it is made clear that there were elements of racism within the investigation. This may not be apparent or direct; however the Inquiry had used all the facts and evidence they had in order to figure out whether the police officers on call were racist. In this case it can be seen that Mr Groves conduct amounted to racist behaviour.

N. Dennis, G. Erdos, and A. Al-Shahi, Racist Murder and Pressure Group Politics (Civil Society), 2000, 1st ed., Trowbridge: The Cromwell Press, p.xi 2, “The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry”, 1998: (site visited on 18.02.2013)

. Trowbridge: The Cromwell Press. 3 4 D. 1st ed. body language and the actions of a person. Another major factor of how policing was ineffective in this case was the “lack of urgency and poor motivation in the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation. It should have been part of their investigation to at least send a police patrol to scan the local area for any suspects however this was not done. 1st edn. Furthermore. She asked me where the boys went and I pointed out the road.. but I had got away. “Who seek to highlight the pervasive presence of racism in the legal system and to give voice to the „outsider‟ perspectives on law of those who have been the victims of racial oppression. he stated. Racist Murder and Pressure Group Politics (Civil Society). p.114 N. Racism does not have to be verbal however can be conveyed by facial expressions.Page |2 Glamorgan ID: 11254432 It can be stated that Mr Groves had preconceived ideas of the boys and due to this had left the junior officers to tend to the boys. Al-Shahi. It may be suggested that if Stephen and Duwayne were in fact white the senior officer may have acted differently and the rest of the investigation may have also been conducted more properly. this expresses the reason why the Lawrence family as well as any other people made to be victims may not be able to rely on the police for help. Dennis. She didn‟t ask what the name of the road was.. Critical race theorists are those.86 5 Ibid at p. It can be suggested that if the police had rooted out and searched for the suspects they may have been able to catch them and quickly build up a case against them. 2009.”3 By looking at the quote above it can be shown Mr Groves‟ ignorance amounts to racist behaviour. she did nothing.”5 This clearly provides evidence showing no response to the information gained from Duwayne Brooks.. “I told her we were attacked. Meyerson . Erdos. Oxfordshire: Routledge Cavendish. for example when an officer asked Duwayne Brooks about what happened. This can be related to the critical race theory where it can be stated that Mr Groves was racist. 2000. When I pointed to her where they had run.43 . p.. and A. she didn‟t tell the other officers there or anyone else on her radio. Understanding Jurisprudence..” 4 From the beginning of the investigation there was always a lack of urgency on part of the police. G.

The Condition of the Working Class in England . “The Macpherson Report-Ten Years On”. be it harassing the Lawrence family or simply not following codes of conduct for the disadvantage of anyone linked to Stephen Lawrence. The Lawrence family was assigned liaison officers during the investigation. For example a racist police officer would be able to use his powers arbitrarily towards people of other races for his own means.publications. “[L]aw is sacred to the bourgeois. the bourgeois (rich and powerful people) and the proletariat (poor working class people). for it is …enacted .02. in a report published by the House of Commons called “The Macpherson Report -Ten Years On”7 by Mrs Lawrence that liaison officers..”8 It was also provided from chapter 6 paragraph 45(a) of the Macpherson report is that institutional racism in shown. and when he is not compelled to do so he never appeals to the law. for his benefit. Though in reality complaints can be made and procedures are in place for people to protect themselves against |3 Glamorgan ID: 11254432 On a separate note the above quotes may suggest elements of the Marxist theory.4 . He states that the.parliament.pdf (site visited on 18. 2008: http://www. Because the English bourgeois finds himself reproduced in his law … the policeman‟s truncheon … has for him a … soothing power. These officers were also criticized on the way they treated the family where it was stated. Engels and K. 1842. [t]he working man knows … that the law i s a rod which the bourgeois has prepared for him. “are more there to collect information and evidence rather than communicate to the family how the investigation is happening. However as seen with the case of Lawrence. But . 6 7 F.”6 Here it may be shown that because police officers have been given authority to use powers provided by state they may be able to abuse it. Karl Marx had described different groups of people.parliament. the police had acted in a manner they saw fit.2013) 8 Ibid at p.. Collected Works Publications.

”9 Using the critical race theory it may be shown that if in fact the Lawrence‟s were from a white background then maybe the family liaison officers would treat the family differently. “The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry”.htm (site visited on 18. however it may only seem appropriate to provide evidence against 2011: http://www.2013) 10 Standard. “Parents of Stephen Lawrence 'did not make police feel welcome”.archive. the initial reaction to the victim and witness Duwayne Brooks.officialdocuments.html (site visited on This also hints towards the fact that the Lawrence family were unable to rely on the officers. On the other hand it was stated by one of the liaison officers assigned to the Lawrence family. the family liaison.02.2013) . Mr Bevan”10 Only assumptions can be made as to why this A lot of arguments have been put forward to illustrate how the criminal justice system was ineffective. “they were difficult visits and I don‟t think we were particularly welcome there. It can be assumed that the officers would instead be more understanding and work with more urgency instead of how they actually behaved. one could suggest that it may have been because of how the Lawrence family was initially treated by the police. the failure of many officers to recognise Stephen's murder as a purely "racially motivated" crime.02. 1998: http://www. It may also be presumed that the family had hatred towards the police in general however this is just a mere |4 Glamorgan ID: 11254432 “in the actual investigation including the family's treatment at the the lack of urgency and commitment in some areas of the investigation. one of the ways in which the criminal justice system was effective was through the law change regarding the double jeopardy rule. For example. 9 Archive.

Paul. “CPS acknowledged that it was in a better position to explain its decisions to victims than the police.02.215 .telegraph. but it was also right in principle as it would benefit victims and their families as well as demonstrating the public accountability of the CPS.html (site visited on 19.”11 In this case when the Lawrence‟s brought the case to the Crown Prosecution Service they “had decided. However now it seems that the CPS is reforming to change this and as such have the police institutes within however in the end the main suspects were penalised. Not only at a high level. ”14 Previously the Lawrence‟s were not kept up to date in regards to Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decisions. 11 Telegraph.”12 When the double jeopardy rule was changed it allowed the Lawrence family to “ quash an acquittal on the basis of „compelling fresh evidence giving a clear indication of guilt.Page |5 Glamorgan ID: 11254432 The double jeopardy rule provided that “no one could be tried twice for the same crime but that legal principle was abolished in 2005 following a series of high profile campaigns. Brown.‟”13 In turn 2 of the attackers were imprisoned finally bringing the Lawrence‟s some form of justice. “Stephen Lawrence murder: change in double jeopardy law allowed Gary Dobson prosecution ”. One would conclude that the Lawrence‟s had been wronged throughout the process of the investigation and throughout the court processes. 2012: http://www.199 13 Ibid at p.2013) 12 R. that there was insuff icient evidence to mount a successful prosecution.198 14 D. For example the. “Justice for all? Two bad arguments (and several good suggestions) for resisting double jeopardy reform” [2002] 6(4) International Journal of Evidence & Proof 197-217 at p. and J. Also one could suggest that quite a few changes have come about ever since the incident which affects British citizens positively. “The relationship between victims and prosecutors: defending victims' rights? A CPS response” *2010+ 3 Criminal Law Review 212-225 at p.

It may be an impossible implication . in a report published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission15 it was stated that “In some areas the police service is making clear progress in delivering race equality.”17 This clearly shows that improvements are still required within police institutions so that the statistics may provide for a balanced projection of stop and searches conducted by the police. 15 Equalityhumanrights.Page |6 Glamorgan ID: 11254432 For example. one would suggest that the Government should do more to initiate plans and encourage people to integrate with one another instead of the current system where it seems that segregation (site visited on 20. This is also suggested in the Equality and Human Rights Commission report where it states that “there should be greater use of positive action to encourage more ethnic minorities to join the police. the promotion of an integrated Britain would allow for a democratic society and more so we may not have another incident as the case of Stephen Lawrence.”16 However it was also stated that “black people remain about seven times more likely to be stopped and searched than white.equalityhumanrights. gender.2013) 16 Ibid at p. “Police and racism: What has been achieved 10 years after the Stephen Lawrence inquiry report?”. religion and more. 2009: http://www. For example.02. not only in regards to race but also to age. One believes that this may be the only way police institutions would treat everyone equally. One believes that the only way to get such results would be to change the traditions and cultures of Britain itself.6 17 Ibid at p.”18 Also. the educational system should encourage children and students alike to respect and learn about other people‟s cultures and traditions. Public and political bodies must work to employ people from various backgrounds in order to allow for an integrated Britain.39 18 Ibid at p.

.htm (accessed on 18.archive. R. (accessed on 18. “Stop and search: disproportionality. and Brown. “The relationship between victims and prosecutors: defending victims' rights? A CPS response” [2010] 3 Criminal Law Review 212-225 Ellis. Racist Murder and Pressure Group Politics (Civil Society). G. 12th edn. G.02. D.official-documents.. Trowbridge: The Cromwell Press Engels. 2000... “Justice for all? Two bad arguments (and several good suggestions) for resisting double jeopardy reform” [2002] 6(4) International Journal of Evidence & Proof 197-217 Jones.html (site visited on 19. The Condition of the Working Class in England... discretion and generalisations” [2010] 83(3) Police Journal 199-216 Electronic Sources http://www... A.2013) http://www. and Marx. D. Oxfordshire: Routledge Cavendish Journals Paul.parliament. D. Erdos..2013) and Al-Shahi.02. 2011. Oxfordshire: Routledge Cavendish Slapper. F.. and Kelly.Page |7 Glamorgan ID: 11254432 Bibliography Books Dennis. 1st ed. 1st 2009. Understanding Collected Works Meyerson. J. G. The English Legal System. K..2013) .

html (accessed on 19.telegraph.Page |8 Glamorgan ID: 11254432 (accessed on 20.2013) .com/uploaded_files/raceinbritain/policeandracism.

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