4- Effectiveness of the Law
4.1- Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Law in Achieving Justice for Individuals
One of the most important aspects of our legal system is the concept that everyone is equal before the law. There are certain aspects that result in a lack of equality.
The fact that our legal system is adversarial is a major contributor. Because the nature of our legal system is competitive and confrontational, it is designed to determine where laws have been broken so punishment can be dealt out. The legal teams employed are also seeking for winning cases, gaining reputations and are willing to project selective facts of a case only in order to win. Therefore, our system is not designed to seek the truth and equality is not achieved for the individual (offender).
Plea bargaining is another factor that promotes inequality for the individual (victim) and offender. For the victim, they are not being provided with the justice they seek for the offenders. Plea bargaining may not be always used to that people who commit the same crime may be treated differently if one is enters plea bargaining.
Young people and Indigenous Australians are other groups for whom the legal system seems unfair. Both groups do not understand their rights and the relationship between these groups and the police create a prejudice that these groups are likely to be doing something illegal when most of the time they are breaking no laws.
The criminal justice system must be accessible to all members of society for it to be fair. However this is hindered by:
To achieve justice, people need to mount a proper case and this costs money. Legal rep is not a problem for the wealthy who can afford their own legal rep and for the poor who are eligible for legal aid. Anyone who has a really good chance of winning their case and has a small income has a high chance of getting legal aid.
To reduce costs of the criminal justice system, many measures have been suggested.
? Deregulating lawyers??™ fees and charges to improve competition
? Allowing law firms to advertise to improve competition
? Improving access and quality of legal aid
? Increase use of non-legal measures to reduce conflict
A major criticism of the criminal justice systems is the time it takes to finalise a conviction. Delays increase the time of uncertainty for victims and the accused and can cause many problems in achieving justice for the individual.
??? Increasing the trauma for victims
??? Increasing chances of witness unreliability
??? Denying accused the right to freedom if they are on remand
??? Allowing the media the chance to influence the outcome of the trial
Especially delays for people on remand. Increases legal costs and if found innocent, there is no way to repay them for the time they served.
Due to competitive nature of the adversarial system in Aus, both legal parties need to time mount a proper case and while thoroughness is good, time delays are a problem.
??? Courts in NSW only open on weekdays for relatively short periods of time.
??? Legal resources remain idle of thousand of hours a year
??? At the same time, increase in criminal trials puts pressure on these resources
??? The antiquated regulations and procedures of court drag out chances of quick and efficient trial.
Solutions for these problems include:
??? Modernising court procedures
??? Using court resources for longer hours and on weekends
??? Developing ADR mechanisms
??? Reforming the committal hearing process to speed up the trial
??? Knowledge of system and its procedures.
Criminal system is very complex and requires proper legal training to understand. Consequently both individuals need help to understand legal process to have proper access to it. To mount a proper legal defence is expensive and many Aussies can??™t do that but without it, the accused is receiving an unfair trial.
Factors which influence the extent of knowledge a person may have in the legal system inc.
??? Level of education
??? Geographical location
??? Ability to speak English
Whether or not the law can be enforced will have some bearing on whether an individual achieves justice. In civil law, is very effective and common to use CJCs and other ADR mechanisms but they aren??™t as common in criminal law. This is mostly coz there is an issue of enforceability. Victims may not be as satisfied by the resolutions brought down by ADR because they are less enforceable than ones brought by the courts. But a similar system could be used to deal with minor offences.
Mediation is used in from jurisdictions in relation to juvenile crime. In New Zealand and Hunter Valley, community youth caution centres were initiated and found to be successful. The victim and the accused meet and the victim tells them how they feel.
4.1d- Resource Efficiency
For the criminal justice system to operate effectively there needs to be an efficient use of the increasingly limited funds available. Some measures are needed to cut costs
??? Controversial practice of plea bargaining. While it allows some criminals to get off lightly and is not completely fair to other individual offenders, it does cut legal costs and time
Funds for the legal system are primarily given to the governments to administer justice via police enforcement and their maintenance. Then the courts and the corrective services get some, and then the diversionary and crime prevention programs receive a very small budget in comparison. They should be getting more than the others to effectively solve problem in the long run.
4.1e- Protection and Recognition of Individual Rights
The accused and the victim both have rights however they are not always adhered to. Enforcement of these rights comes down to those involved in the system to ensure that they are delivered. Sometimes the rights of the accused and the victim conflict and their needs must be balanced.
Competitive nature of the adversarial system is such that the prosecution and defence are more concerned with winning their case. The primary aim of the system is to win, not to arrive at the truth or achieve justice. Considering this, it is not likely that the rights of the accused and victim can both be protected.
|Victim |Accused |
|To have their case reported and recorded |The right to silence |
| | |
|To be told of any arrests and charges |To be allowed bail |
| | |
|To be informed of all hearing dates |To have all interviews recorded |
| | |
|To be protected from the accused |To not have prior charges/ convictions detailed to the court prior guilty|
| |verdict |
|To be informed of the progress of the investigation | |
| |The right to appeal based on a legal argument against conviction or |
| |severity of sentence |
4.2b- Law as a Reflection of Community Standards and Expectations
Question: is the law a true reflection of community standards or of the standards that the media would portray as community standards
The media continuously sensationalises stories, picking the most shocking and serious crimes and cases. This warps our perception of crime, thus raising community??™s standards of crime. Perhaps, the laws which were created in response to this are not the true reflections of our standards.
Community attitudes and standards constantly change over time. IN 1995, 1999 and 2003, NSW elections saw both major parties chasing the law and order vote by pushing legislations for harsher punishments for criminals. However, there was little evidence to support that the community felt this was needed. On the other hand, the Howard gov??™s approach on gun control in 1996 after the Port Arthur shootings was a law that truly reflected the community standards.
The judiciary may not always be in line with the standards of the community either. This is seen via their obiter dicta and rulings. While they are required not to be biased, some are unable to do so.
4.2c- Opportunities for Enforcement
Before 1983, the police directed the prosecution of most summary and indictable offences. Following criticisms over their role in prosecuting matters, the DPP was established in 1983 and now their primary role is law enforcement. Now, DPP is responsible for indictable offences and the police handle summary offences via the police prosecutor.
Advantages of the DPP inc.
??? Provides extra level of scrutiny of police case against the accused. Not all cases go to court and DPP requires police to provide sufficient case before prosecuting
??? Scrutiny process reduces number of cases that go to court whilst ensuring police are accountable for their investigations
4.2d- Opportunities for Appeal and Review
It is the right of any person who??™s been convicted to apply got an appeal on grounds of:
??? Severity of sentence
??? New evidence
??? Error in law
DPP also have right but can only appeal on leniency of the sentence.
In 2005, 53 of 73 appeals to go to High Court from State and Federal courts were successful. In NSW, Court of Appeal, 17 of 21 were successful. But statistics can be misleading coz only appeals that are likely to be successful are allowed through.
Many alternate avenues for reforming the CJS.
??? NSW Law Reform Commission
??? Parliamentary Committees
??? Royal Commissions
They all undertake public hearings and submissions in which individuals and groups can have a say. Recommendations often inc what public says.
4.2- Evaluating the Effectiveness of Law in Achieving Justice for Society
4.2a- Resource Efficiency
Justice is expensive to achieve and competes with other dept for funding. Therefore, it is prudent to question the efficiency of the system especially when the clearance rate is so low.
We would judge the efficiency of each sector the legal system differently like:
??? Police judged based on clearance rate
??? Legal profession based on conviction rate
??? Correction system based on recidivism rate
The money spent on legal aid is a small proportion of the law and order budget yet the spending of its funds is heavily criticised. The thousands of $$ spent by Legal aid on Ivan Milat in 1996 for the backpacker??™s trial was called a waste of taxpayer??™s money. Many might say that Milat??™s right for good legal rep was overemphasised compared to other legal aid cases. It doesn??™t seem right that one or two cases should be provided so much of such a small budget when others are rejected. In this system, it is evident that justice is not being found for all individuals and society.
5- Law Reform
5.1- Agencies of Law Reform
5.1a Law Reform Commissions
Two relevant law reform commissions:
Australian Law Reform Commission
??? Responsible for
o reforming federal law
o examining the mechanisms of fed judicial processes
o ensuring that law are up to date with community standards
??? makes recommendations to gov and approx 75% are adopted into legislation
??? Attorney General refers issues to the commission
NSW Law Reform Commission
??? established in 1966 and is oldest Aus. law reform agency
??? Role is similar to Aus. law reform commission.
??? Has and interest in individual cases
??? Attorney general refers issues to it
Is the main law reform agency in Aus. When law reform makes a recommendation, parliament usually enacts it into legislation. Parliamentary reform is also a reflection of he policies of the gov at the time.
Main role of the courts is to interpret and apply the law created by parliament. Judges can change law via precedent but usually don??™t interfere with parliament??™s law making. Common law is made up of a judge??™s decisions and they are used to accommodate for particular situations which the statute law doesn??™t cover. These can cause problems in that it can be unpredictable and at times haphazard
5.1d- Lobby Groups
Lobby groups are collections of people with similar interests and with specific aims upon which they wish governments to act upon. Lobby groups try to raise public awareness of their cause and the higher the profile of their cause, the more likely governments will listen to them and act upon their cause.
Enough is Enough is lobby group that has influenced law reform in relation to victims of crime.
5.1e- Other Agencies
5.2- Effectiveness of Law Reform Agencies
The effectiveness of the law reform agencies varies in achieving law reform. The weakness of the other law reform agencies is that they rely on the parliament to either carry out recommendations of to act upon judges??™ decisions. This occurs regardless of any influence they have on law reform.
One problem that concerns all reform agencies us the delays that occur before nay suggested reforms of the law actually take place. Example of this is the recent reform to traffic fines in Feb/March. They are not expected to be in force for another 6 months.
Victims??™ crime lobby groups also say that when a reform to criminal law is done, it is usually only done where there is political benefit to be gained.
5.3- Conditions That Give Rise to the Need to Reform
The law should reflect the conditions that exist in the present society. Changing conditions create a need for law reform.
5.3a- Changing Social Values
There is a public perception that crime is on the increase and this has inspired the gov to take a ???get tough??™ approach to crime laws. This inc.
??? Mandatory sentencing for property crimes in WA and NT and mandatory sentences for certain drug and summary offences
??? General increasing of prison sentences
??? Increased role of victims and their families in the CJS
However, changing community values have also led to decriminalisation of certain offences that were previously seen as public order offences and summary offences.
??? Prostitution (to a certain extent)
??? Consenting homosexual sex
5.3b- Changing Composition of Society
Another imp driver of law reform is the changing nature of society itself.
There now is a great diversity of ethnic groups and law has been reformed to accommodate for this diversity especially in civil and family law.
??? Laws in relation to burials have been amended to cater for non-Christian religions.
??? Inclusion of Aboriginal law
??? Taking into account cultural factors that may have an influence on the offender??™s behaviour.
However, there has been little evidence of these changes in criminal law. Such adjustments are mostly found in sentencing.
To improve accessibility of the CJS, interpretation services and other support agencies in the courts are established.
There has also been on increase on social problems in society.
??? Unemployment and poverty have become major problems in the past 20 years. This has led to increase in associated crimes and the need for changes to welfare system.
??? At the same time there is also a boom of white collar crime, reflecting the increasing greed in materialistic society.
??? The swing in conservatism in our laws could also be due to the dominance of the ageing baby boomers who were all brought up in a liberal era
5.3c- New Concepts of Justice
Changing views of punishment have led to a movement away from harsh punishments for some offenders to a more meaningful and just punishment. This has come after recidivism rates have remained high. Likewise, for certain offences the concept of truth in sentencing is seen as more just by many in the community.
One particular area of criminal that has attempted to be re-evaluated is juvenile justice. In NSW, a series of acts were passed that aimed to force parents to be accountable for the actions of their children.
??? Children (Parental Responsibility) Act 1994 (NSW)
o Allowed police to remove a child under 16 yrs from a public place with reasonable suspicion that the young person was at risk or not subjected to supervision and control of responsible adult.
o Required parents to attend court and take responsibility for the actions of their kids until they were 18 yrs. If the child was acquitted and then reoffended then the parent would be found guilty of an offence.
o Law was evaluated in 1997. Report was critical of the overall objectives and recommended the act be repealed coz it was not an appropriate or effective way to deal with juvenile crime. Also, it infringed basic human rights of young people.
??? Children (Protection and Parental Responsibility) Act 1977 (NSW)
o In 1997, the Children (Protection and Parental Responsibility) Act replaced the Children (Parental Responsibility) Act 1994 (NSW).
o Many old provisions included in this act inc parental responsibility
o Police were only allowed to remove young people from public areas that the Attorney General had declared ???operational??™.
??? Young Offenders Act 1997 (NSW)
o It is imperative that young offenders don??™t become stigmatised as ???bad??™ or ???criminal??™. Doing this would risk young people taking on the behaviours or attitudes associated with these names
o It is better for offenders and victims if they make the situation right by reconciliation and restitution.
o This led to enactment of Young Offenders Act 1997 (NSW). Provides for a graded system of alternatives to court comprising of:
? Police warnings
??? Police use discretion to give a warning for minor offences committed by young people.
??? The offence must not involved violence and must be in the ???interest of justice??™
??? Formally recorded and offenders may be warned more than once.
? Police cautions
??? Given if warning can??™t be given or if the police believe that it??™s in the ???interests of justice??™, to be deal with another way.
??? Act provides a number of provisions to protect the rights of the young offender inc.
o Police required to explain he/she is entitled to legal advice
o Police explaining the nature of the offence and the caution
o Offender is given official notification of caution and 10 days to change their mind about admitting to the offence.
o No additional punishments
? Youth justice conferences
??? Used if cautioning is not appropriate
??? Aim is to ensure that young people who are accused of an offence accept the responsibility for their actions while at the same time, involving their families.
??? They acknowledge and include victims and take into account their interests
5.3d- Failure of Existing Law
Laws fail and become obsolete for various reasons inc changes in:
??? Social values and morality
??? Political agendas
??? Access to social welfare
??? Availability of technology
When they are obsolete, they must be amended, replaced with new legislation or repealed. It??™s parliament??™s duty to do this.
5.3e- International Laws and Conventions
To affect the rights of Australian citizens international laws must be
??? enacted by parliaments into domestic law
??? judges declare the law to be part of domestic law. This can occur if the court believes there is a gap in domestic law. E.g. it is incomplete or ambiguous so the courts may consult international law to determine domestic law.
When Commonwealth ratifies an international treaty it creates an international obligation to it. It is the responsibility of the fed gov to ensure that state and territory gov are not in breach of this obligation and must do all in its power to rectify situation.
Two examples of this.
5.3f- New Technology
Technology has improved methods of criminal investigations and interrogations which has meant
??? New laws must be made to protect rights of accused and the legal system.
o Electronic surveillance also governed by laws to protect individual freedoms
o Advances in forensic science have led to tabling of new laws to allow forcible taking of DNA
Technology has also created a new means of commissioning existing crimes or the creation of new crimes.
??? Illegal interception
??? Electronic vandalism and terrorism-inc hacking
??? Telecommunication piracy-inc theft of copyright material
??? Telemarketing fraud-ppl use phone to offer bogus investment opp or charity requests
??? Assaulting ppl by threatening to infect with AIDs/ HIV virus
These new crimes have mean new laws need to be created to address them. In 1990 NSW gov amended section 36 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) to make it an offence to maliciously causes to attempt to cause another person to contract a grievous bodily disease. This came after reported assaults with a syringe filled with blood infected with HIV/AIDs.
Many offences are also specifically for cars, inc driving in a manner or speed dangerous to the public while other relate to using a crime to commit crimes. Inc menacing driving and predatory driving. [pic][pic][pic][pic][pic]
Recent sexual assault case involving gang rape of 2 16 yr old girls, DPP agreed to enter plea bargaining and in return for guilty pleas, prosecutions didn??™t mention a knife was used in the attack. This was done without knowledge of the victims.
SMH Article 2002 (article 8) Indigenous people are less likely to get bail
Almost half of all indigenous people in local courts have bail imposed on them for minor offences that wouldn??™t warrant a custodial sentence if they were found guilty. Most of the time, this bail is refused so they??™re stuck in remand. This compares of just over ? of non aborigines. Therefore, it can be said that Indigenous people are not being given the same level of accessibility to the legal rep as their white counterparts and this is not fair.
SMH Article 1997 (article 28) Time delay again and some people there are innocent
Director of NSW BOCSAR found the following:
-many innocent people are being kept in prison for more than a year. It??™s not fair for these individuals.
-time delays are important problem coz the longer the delay, the more likely a guilty person will be acquitted coz people forget more details of event as time goes on.
-Mean times for matters to go to trial is 62.7 weeks for a guilty verdict and 55.8 weeks for acquittals.
SMH Article 1997 (article 25) courts less accessible due to litigants
Queensland Court of Appeal Justice, Justice Davies said that frequent users of courts like corporations are clogging up courts. They are able to claim tax for litigation costs and this is not an incentive to use cheaper alternatives and thus, they are making court system less accessible to other groups who do need it. He also said that adversarial court system is designed to be competitive and focuses on winning so it obscures the advantages of using alternative methods that might have an agreed solution. To improve fairness, Justice Davies suggested using court appointed experts to make costs cheaper and fairer. He also suggests judges, lawyers and law students to be educated in an adversarial system of fair dispute resolution.
SMH Article 1997 (article 27) Time delays for people in custody exceed ideal 112 days
The ideal time standard of time delays for court trials for people on remand is 112 days.
Half are waiting 6 months
30% are spending between 6-12 months
About half were acquitted when they went to trial.
Deitrich v The Queen 1992
In Vic, Dietrich was charged with several drug charges. Legal aid only agreed to rep him if he pleaded guilty but he refused. Consequently, Dietrich went to court self- represented but was found guilty and convicted. He appealed to the High Court to consider if an accused person has the right to legal rep. High Court ruled in favour of Dietrich but found there was no automatic enforceable right to legal rep. Majority said legal rep in serious cases; minority said in all cases coz without legal rep on both sides, it??™s impossible to state a fair trial took place. All justices agreed everyone had right to a fair trial.
Zooming in on VICTIM??™S RIGHTS
Once a criminal trial starts there is very little focus on the victim and instead everyone is more concerned with the conduct of the accused person. Certainly, the courts are not concerned with compensating the victim.
But should they be compensated at all
A lack of compensation for suffering: but we suffer all the time from loss or injury and we do not expect compensation.
Issue of increased taxation: where does compensation money come from Mostly from the taxpayers and if you give out too much compensation, you increase taxes. Australia has signed an international convention on the rights of victims which provides that
??? compassion and respect would be shown to the victim
??? legal, medical, psychological and social support be given to the victim as an expression of this compassion
NSW has not created a law to ratify this covenant.
Let??™s consider the possibility of compensation.
What should they be compensated for
??? Hospital expenses- easy to quantify
??? Pain and suffering- harder to quantify suffering with money
??? Loss of expectation of life- difficult because it??™s even more insubstantial than pain and suffering
Who should compensate
In principle it should be criminal but often they are unable to pay. Financial situation is often why people commit crimes. Even if they can pay, it may harm their family. The other alternative is for Gov to pay but this would require raising taxes to fund it.
Any legislation covering compensation
The Victim??™s Compensation Act 1987 provides that victims that suffer actual physical harm can be compensated for:
??? Pain and suffering
??? Loss of enjoyment of life
??? Medical treatment
??? Lost earnings
Pregnancy resulting from sexual assault counts as physical harm.
Under Act who can claim and how much
Primary victims- directly injured
Secondary victims- injured from seeing or hearing of the crime
Close relatives of the victim who dies as a result of crime
Can claim a max of $50 000. Relative can claim more if there was more than one victim.
Under act, who is it claimed against
Usually the state pays but if offender is over 16 yr old the tribunal can collect some money from them.
Regulation hasn??™t worked much as only 2.5% of claims made against criminals were paid.
What are other forms of compensation
??? Victims can pursue civil action against offender
??? In NSW, gov has introduced Charter of Rights for Victims of Crime. Some rights are shown above table.
??? Victims can write victim impact statements to tell court how they??™ve affected victim. But victims find preparation of these a neg experience and sexual assault counsellors are refusing to make them.
SMH Article 1997 (article 11) police aren??™t recognising individuals rights and they aren??™t being adhered to
-Wood Royal Commission exposed the credibility of police by accusing them of lying and distorting evidence
Magistrates and report have uncovered
-scrumdowns (police confer to refresh their memories of evidence which was often imaginary)
-verbals (police submit unsigned records and notebook confessions as evidence)
-falsely corroborating evidence
-rejecting any evidence that might challenge the prosecution and falsely corroborate with evidence that will condemn the defendant
R v D J Johns 1992
SA supreme court judge, Justice Bollens sated it was acceptable for a husband to use ???rougher then usual handling??? to force his wife to have sex with him.
This was followed by a case a few years later in Vic where a judge said that when a woman said no, it may not always mean no.
R v Fernando and Fernando 1995 It is clear from this decision that the Supreme Court influenced the decision for a change in the law.
The Fernando brothers were charged with the murder or a nurse. The police gained approval from the Supreme Court but they refused to supply its, claiming that if the police persisted to do so, it would be assault. They appealed the decision.
NSW Court of Appeal agreed in favour of the defendants and overturned the decision. They came to a ruling that ???in the absence of clear statutory or other lawful authority to excuse, no prisoner should be made to undergo nay form of medical treatment without consent.??? This led to the introduction of the Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Act 2000 (NSW).
Groups they target
-investigates suspicious deaths and fires and recommends changes to DPP.
-Coronial inquiries emphasises weaknesses in the law.
-investigates the admin of gov departments and recommends changes to the gov.
– investigates areas on concern and makes recommendations to gov. These recommendations are often publicised and therefore, they are hard for the gov to ignore.
R v Nadruku 1997 Led to changes to the Crimes Act on issues of basic and specifivc intent.
In 1997 in ACT Nadruku was acquitted of an assault charge. The court accepted that he was so drunk that he neither knew nor intended what he did. The decision was based on a ruling from R v O??™Conner (1980) in the High Court.
In R v O??™Conner, the principal authority the High Court had before it was DPP v Majewski from the House of Lords. In that case, the judges self-induced intoxication is relevant and must be taken into account when there is specific intent but not when there is basic intent.
The distinction between the two terms
Basic intent- offence that requires an intention to perform it (striking a person- manslaughter if they die)
Specific intent- requires intention to achieve a specific purpose (striking a person to death- murder if they die)
Under the Majewski case, a person who beats someone to death when grossly intoxicated could still be found guilty of manslaughter. Many countries??™ common law and policies are influenced by this case??™s approach inc Australia
The High Court rejected Majewski and ruled that if the prosecution can prove beyond reasonable doubt that the person had the necessary mens rea during offence then self induced intoxication can be accounted in any criminal charge.
The justices in a majority in the O??™Conner case believed that it was a basic principle of common law that a person be found guilty of a crime only if they fulfil the elements of a crime. One judge believed that classification of crimes into basic or specific intent was inappropriate and obscure as it was inconsistent with these principles of common law.
Even before the Nadruku case there already were changes to the law. Following a recommendation from the Standing Committee of Attorneys General in 1994 to adopt the Majewski approach over O??™Conner
-The commonwealth legislated with this approach for the Criminal Code Act 1995
-NSW inserted a new part 11A into the Crimes Act in 1997.
Right to privacy under Article 17(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
In 1994, the UN Human Rights Committee accused the Tas gov of being in breach of an international obligation. Sections 122 and 123 of Tasmanian Criminal Code were in breach of article 17(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by criminalising any sexual contact between men.
In response the fed gov enacted the Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act 1994 (Cwth). In Croome v Tasmania 1997, the High Court held that Tas act was inconsistent with fed law. And using section 119 of the constitution, the law was made invalid.
Mandatory Sentencing- adults and juveniles
In early 2000 there was a debate with the political and legal community and media as to whether mandatory sentencing is in breach of Australia??™s obligation under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and UNCROC. Many former judges and senior members of the NSW judiciary have condemned the legislation.
The Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Act 2000 (NSW) allows for police to collect samples of saliva, hair and/or blood for DNA testing. Anyone who is convicted and is sentenced to imprisonment for a serious indictable offence with a possible max sentence of 5 yr will be tested. Inc offences like robbery and break and entry. If you??™re under 18 or if you are over 18 and refuse testing, police need a court order. If you refuse with court order, it??™s an offence and you can get up to 12 months detention.
A specially trained officer collects sample and they video it. Sample is taken to Department of Health for testing. Our legal rights can be found via legal aid hotline. DNA are compared with samples at crime scenes and used assist in unsolved cases and kept for new crimes.