The American court system is one that has existed as long as the constitution has been in existence. They are provided for in the constitution of the U.S.A. And have the powers and mandate as prescribed in the constitution. The courts are fundamental in the society in regards to maintaining law and order and also bringing amicable, legal and acceptable settlements among people, organizations, institutions and even groups. In a civilized society like ours, it is important that law and order is not only maintained but also felt and seen to have been done. The American society achieves this in a great way through the judicial system and it is important for us all to work hard towards maintaining the existing confidence in the judicial system lest we slip into absolute anarchy experienced in most underdeveloped countries and corrupt monarchies.
However, the criminal justice system has been for long associated with discriminatory practices and decisions that are informed by race bias and other forms of discriminatory practices among other unethical practices. The ever increasing unethical practices have for long been a subject of discussion and how this can be avoided particularly in the justice system. The rot has gone so deep in the society until many people no longer care about the ethics any more as long as the law is on their side, they would do anything to get away with unethical acts.
In administration of justice in the criminal justice system, it is significant to note that ethics and professional behavior are very closely linked bearing the fact that the process of administration of justice involves human beings towards other human beings. According to American Medical Association (1994) ethical obligations supersede the legal obligations. The ethical duties are more than the legal duties since the law may sometimes allow for an ethical conduct. Laws cover ethical rules and regulations; it doesn't hinder most of the acts that are considered unethical and vice versa. However, the two are usually tied to each other and guide the judgments that are made on a day-to-day basis within the legal fraternity.
The criminal justice involves undergoing various processes in the process of making them where they are approved and then enforced by the arm of the government that is concerned with the enforcement process. This is majorly done by the police force while ethics are unwritten in nature they are rules and guidelines that guides on a given conduct to the society or a profession e.g. A lawyers have practices that are inbuilt in them which they have to abide to since it is the right thing to do according to their professional ethical standards hence the ethics and professional behavior are once again tied here.
The interpretation of the law can be guided by the ethics of a given society as well the interpretation of ethics can be guided by the written laws of a country, bringing the ethics and the behavior within the criminal justice system together.
The foundation of law is laid upon obedience hence an individual has to obey the law for an act to be considered lawful or unlawful while ethics is based upon what and how the society and the profession feels is ethical or not ethical according to the expected standards of behaviors.
Laws are universal in nature i.e. they apply to all in respect of the profession race culture or the position in the government office and any failure to the obedience to the law all the individuals have to face a common form of punishment while ethics are not universal in nature, they are specific in nature. They only apply to specific individuals based upon their profession and the level of the relationship of one person against the other party.
Ethics enlighten people on what activities they should do and covers on the ideal characteristics they should. Unethical practice leads to punishments which is relevant to an individual is perception, Law on the other hand, provides hindrance to some of the actions, set by society, from which its disobedience can lead to punishment.
Role of critical thinking in relationship of ethics and professional behavior
Critical thinking is defined by Austin Cline (2011) as an effort to develop reliable and rational evaluations about what is responsible for us to believe or not to believe. person who wishes to think critically must be open minded in the sense that he/she should be open to the possibility that not only others are right but also they are wrong. Critical thinking is respectively deciding what to believe or do since it enhances ones language and presentation skills which helps one to think clearly and systematically hence improving the way one expresses his ideas as well as the portrayal of behaviors.
In the profession of justice system, there is an absolute need to have critical thinking a central tenet among the people involved in the implementation of the law and upholding the justice system. Critical thinking is important to justice system since because it promotes creativity among the law enforces. Critical thinking helps law enforcers to evaluate new ideas globally, helps them select the best ideas among others and modify those ideas if necessary and in this manner, they will be observing not just the legal aspect of actions they do or allow others to do, but the ethical aspect of it as well.
Critical thinking is also important due to the fast changing global trends with new knowledge coming up each day since the world has become a global village driven by information and technology, therefore one has to be able to deal with change quickly and effectively. This way, he may be faced by a situation that he may not be having a previous experience or training exposure on such situation. It is the critical thinking that will enable the law enforcer to be able to judge whether the act is both ethical and legal, or is one of the two or none, and in this way ending up doing the ethical thing within his profession.
Critical thinking is also important since it is not restricted to one particular subject area but rather it is open to several subject areas and disciplines. This will enable the law enforces to have a wide view of issues and arguments as they look forward to making decisions on aspects that may not be necessarily directly under their profession hence the ability to solve problems systematically without difficulties (Joe Lau & Jonathan Chan, 2011).
Bearing the above information, there is need therefore to have a seminar that is particularly focused on the training the law enforcers on the issue of ethics and ethical conduct. This is an important aspect of the daily operations of the people involved in the justice system in the U.S.A. It will be a benefit to both the personnel within the law enforcement as well as the community. This is a perspective reached at considering that the criminal justice system in many unique ways and means are involved in coercions hence there are several and varied chances and opportunities to abuse such powers that they are entrusted with.
The second reason as to why there should be a better understanding of ethics and ethical behavior is that the law enforcers and those involved in the justice system are public servants, and in this standing owe a lot of keen and special duties to the public that they serve. There is therefore need for them to fully comprehend the magnitude of the calling and keep the standards at a high level lest they be subject to questioning on moral grounds and lose the respect they have from the public.
The third reason as to the significance of the seminar on ethics is that…