Problem

Economic discrimination in the administration of justice


Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Inequitable justice for the poor
Prejudicial judicial treatment of those less fortunate
Nature:
Low social justice is often accompanied by poor education, which tends to put the individual concerned in a position of psychological inferiority in relation to court systems, which represent the state apparatus. In criminal trials, the court and the prosecution tend not to be seen as separate entities. This state of mind is aggravated by: the presence of uniformed police in the courts, in excess of what is reasonably needed for the physical restraint of the accused; the practice of placing an accused in the dock during trial; and the housing of minor criminal courts in the same building as a police station. Lack of education usually includes ignorance of the law in general and of procedural law in particular, and those who suffer from such lack need adequate legal advice even more than the rest of society. It is also beyond dispute that the less sophisticated are more easily induced to sign "confessions" of guilt.

Lack of finance may affect the capacity of an accused or of a party in a civil action to secure the evidence, particularly scientific evidence, that he needs to locate and secure the attendance of witnesses (especially if they are not easily accessible geographically), to pay their travelling expenses and compensation for loss of earnings during court hearings, and to pay the fees of expert witnesses. A poor person may also face difficulties in preparing his case because certified copies of documents may be available to him only on payment of a fee.

Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Date of last update
09.02.1997 – 00:00 CET