Why Is the American Legal System the Best in the World

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The responsibility of state actors under the laws of a country is only one of the criteria required to rank a country in the World Justice Project`s lists of the best legal systems. According to this, just laws, known to all, which protect the fundamental rights of citizens, play an important role as equitable governments representing the majority of their population. With a strong judicial system that keeps the country`s ruling forces under control, Norway has low crime rates and no civil unrest. Moreover, through effective enforcement, dispute resolution remains effective without resorting to violence. The Finnish Constitution guarantees the independence of the courts, and contains many provisions to protect their autonomous judges. As Finland is a “consensual democracy”, every decision is consulted by the many stakeholders who would be affected by the change. As a result, Finnish citizens feel included in the judicial system and have a high level of trust in it. As mentioned above, Finland ranks first in the measurement of the criminal justice system used to compile this list. Once suspects, accused or offenders are released from the jurisdiction of a criminal justice authority, they can be re-dealt with by the criminal justice system for a new crime. Long-term studies show that many arrested suspects have criminal histories and those who have already been arrested more are more likely to have been re-arrested. Because the courts consider criminal records when sentencing, most prisoners have criminal records and many have been incarcerated in the past.

Nationally, about half of inmates released from state prisons will return to prison. After hearing in one of our recent posts that China could be the United States of the 21st century, is there an arena where the United States still clearly has the upper hand? Niall Ferguson, a professor at Harvard University and a Hoover Institution fellow, addresses this question in his recent book The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die (Penguin Books 2012). According to the research he has gathered, the United States, and in particular the American legal system, falls under this title. Citizens participate directly in the criminal justice process by reporting crimes to the police, being a reliable participant (for example, a witness or jury) in criminal proceedings, and accepting that the system`s decision is fair or reasonable. As voters and taxpayers, citizens also participate in criminal justice through the policy-making process, which has an impact on the functioning of the criminal justice process, the resources available to it and its objectives. At every stage of the process, from the initial formulation of objectives, to the reinsertion of prisoners into society, to the decision on the location of prisons and prisons. Without such involvement, criminal proceedings cannot serve the citizens they are supposed to protect. When they vote with their feet, there is recent evidence that Harvard Business School graduates prefer foreign sites in the United States for new investments. In 607 decisions where HBS alumni had to choose between domestic and offshore operations, only 16% of investments remained in the United States.

The overseas location was chosen mainly because of 1) the efficiency of the political system, 2) the simplicity of the tax legislation, 3) the regulations, 4) the effectiveness of the legal framework, and 5) the flexibility in hiring and firing. This country operated with a somewhat complex three-tiered dual judicial system. The term double court refers to the two hierarchies of courts in its system. Like Sweden, a centrally administered body of government handles the work of its courts, the Ministry of Justice. But where it differs from Sweden is that it can both enforce judgments and draft laws. There is a close link between the judiciary and the executive. Civil law systems rely less on precedents than on codes that explicitly provide rules for many specific disputes. If a judge has to go beyond the letter of a code to resolve a dispute, his or her decision will not become binding or even relevant in subsequent decisions involving other parties. The country has relatively few judges, with about 14 per 100,000 inhabitants and it took an average of 87 days to process a trial in the country. However, a small percentage of citizens believe that the Dutch judicial system is vulnerable to external influences. Second, the federal judicial system is based on a system of “jurisdiction,” that is, the geographical distribution of courts at certain levels. For example, while there is only one Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal is divided into 13 counties and there are 94 district courts.

In addition, each state judicial system has its own “jurisdiction”. As already mentioned, the jurisdiction in which a case has been raised determines which judicial decisions constitute binding precedents. The work of the Swedish courts is run by an executive branch of government, the Ministry of Justice. However, the courts are independent to judge for themselves without external factors intervening. The courts maintain the highest level of transparency for their citizens, and another notable aspect of the Swedish judicial system is the prospect of penal reform. The accessibility and affordability of civil courts, including that people are aware of available remedies, have access to legal advice and representation, and can access the court system without charging unreasonable fees, encounter unreasonable procedural barriers, or face physical or linguistic barriers.

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