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Role of Courts in the Criminal Justice System

Roleof Courts in the Criminal Justice System

Roleof Courts in the Criminal Justice System

Thejustice system is an establishment that is meant to endorse the ruleof law. Thus the courts offer a platform to resolve disputes and totest and implement laws in fair and coherent manner. The courts canbe referred to as an impartial platform on which the judges arepermitted to apply the law regardless of the wish of the governmentor the sway of the public opinion. The decisions of the court arefounded on what the law mandates and what is proved by the evidencedpresented, thus there is no room for suspicion, biasedness, orprejudice in the courts of law. For this reason, the justice systemis regarded as a blindfolded figure that balances a collection ofscales unaware of anything that could distract it from the quest ofan outcome that is fair and just.

Wherethe Federal and State Courts Obtain Their Authority

TheUnited States Constitution is the source of authority bestowed on thefederal courts since Article III grants all judicial power to theSupreme courts, and many lower courts as the Congress saw necessary.The Constitution of the United States is the highest law of thecountry because it is mandated with the creation of the centralsystem of government that has its federal court, but it shares powerswith the state governments that that also have their separate statecourts. The state courts obtain their power from the stateconstitution with the only difference being that they are enacted bythe Congress while the Federal courts are established directly byArticle III of the Constitution. In that, Article III of theConstitution requires that the Congress establishes the state courts,but their power still rests on the state constitution of the variousstates (Miller, 2015). The judicial authority of separate states ismainly bestowed in various courts enacted by the state constitutionor the statute of the state and in each state, synchronized withstate courts are various appellate courts and/or supreme courts thathave independent functions. The most important power of the Supremecourts is the judicial review, which referred to the mandate totranslate the constitution with the example of the Supreme Courtjudges’ ruling that government activities or laws go against thespirit of the constitution. The other power of the supreme courts isthe authority to overturn decisions it has once made or to overruleitself. A case example is Brownv. Board of Education of Topekawhere the courts decided that schools separated by race wereunconstitutional, a ruling that overturned the Plessy v. Fergusonthat supported the policy “separate but equal.”

Structureof the Federal Court`s System and the Cases They Handle

Thehighest court in the structure of the Federal courts is the SupremeCourt that was created by Article III of the Constitution that alsomandates the Congress to establish regulation that will lead to thecreation of a system of lower courts, thus there are ninety-fourdistrict level trials courts and thirteen appeal courts under theSupreme courts. The Supreme Court is made up of the chief justicealong with associate justices as determined by the Congress and theauthority to propose the justices is bestowed on the president (Baum,2013). After the nomination by the president, the appointments arecarried out with the guidance and approval of the Senate. The supremecourts rule on cases forwarded from appellate courts when there is astalemate in the interpretation of the law regarding the suit or withthe constitutional right, and it is also the last stage of the appealprocess. Under the supreme court there are thirteen appellate courtsthat are referred to as the United States courts of appeals, andtheir task is to find out whether the law was applied in the rightmanner in the trial courts. The United Sates has ninety-four federaljudicial districts that are have been categorized into twelveregional circuits, each having a court of appeal with a total ofthree judges who do not use a jury. The other cases that the court ofappeal is mandated to hear include contests to district courtdecisions from the courtyards located within each circuit in additionto appeals from verdicts of federal administrative organizations.District courts also form part of the federal court’s structure andare ninety-four, each located in the various districts. The districtcourts have been mandated to solve disagreements by finding out theevidence and using legal principles to choose who is right.

Similaritiesand Differences in the Functions of Federal versus State Courts?

Regardingestablishment, while the state courts are formed under the statelaws, the federal courts are formed under the Article III of UnitedStates Constitution with the mandate of deciding disagreementsinvolving the constitution and the acts being passed. Thejurisdiction of the both the courts is the basis of the differences.The Federal Courts are limited in the kinds of cases they are allowedto hear while state courts have a broad jurisdiction as they hear awide variety of cases. States courts listen to cases involvingindividual people like family disagreements, traffic violations,personal injury cases, and broken contracts among many others. On theother hand, the federal courts listen to cases that the U.S. is aparty, suits in which the United States Constitution has beenviolated, bankruptcy cases and maritime law cases among others(Dorsen &amp DeJulio, 2013). Both courts handle criminal cases.However, State Courts handle the individuals violating the state lawswhile Federal Courts handle violations of the Federal laws. The dueprocess is also the another similarity between the state and federalcourts considering that the police are required to ensure alldefendants have a right to a jury and a trial and that they must beinformed of their rights when being arrested. Moreover, the court’sproceedings, the sentencing, and the appeals are similar in both thestate courts and the federal courts.

Similaritiesand Differences in the Role Court Administrators

Onesimilarity is based on the role of the court administrator since heor she manages the day-to-day activities of a federal courthouse, alocal court, and a state court. The duties associated with the courtadministrator in the three court systems include giving directions tothe court employees, management of the courts budget and acting as acourt`s liaison (Neubauer, 2012). A court administrator has the taskof planning and overseeing the operation of every courthouse tomanage the available facilities and to ensure that the procedures ofsuits are in line. Moreover, the court administrator may also pose asa liaison between firms and the court in addition to between thestate and the federal government. Some court administrators are incharge of an entire courthouse while others are in charge of only asection of the courthouse.

FloridaCourts Structure

Floridacourt structure consists of the highest court of law, the SupremeCourt, which has helped in making both the state and the nation as awhole. There are seven justices on the highest appellate court inwhich five of them must be involved in each case and for a decisionto be reached four of the justices should come to an agreement. Thejurisdiction of the Supreme Court set by the Constitution ismandatory and discretion jurisdiction. Districts courts of appeal arefive and decisions of these tribunals signify the final appellateanalysis of litigated suits (Kowalski, 2012). They provide anopportunity for considerate reviews of decisions of lower courts oflaw by an experienced panel of judges to correct detrimental errors.The process ensures decisions are firm with human rights and freedom.Also, it enhances development and transparency of the law. Circuitcourts are trial courts. They are twenty in the whole Florida courtsystem. They are responsible for all civil and criminal trialjurisdictions not assigned to the county courts by the constitution.Circuit courts are made up various counties and are responsible forhearing appeals from county courts. These courts are given all thepower to issue court orders needed in exercising their jurisdictionsince they act as the lowest appellate courts and the highest trialcourts ate the same time. County courts are the lowest in the trialcourts and are also referred to as the people’s courts and eachCounty has one court, thus the sixty-seven Florida county courts(Madani, 2013). They settle a large number of the citizens’disputes such as the less pressing cases like traffic offense andtrespass.


Quasi-judicialbody is an administrative agency unit that has powers to ascertaincertain facts, holding hearings, weighing evidence, makingconclusions of the facts as a basis for their official action andexercising discretion of a judicial nature. A legislative entityfunctions as a quasi-judicial when it applies an overall policy inprivate capabilities and the decisions made are binding on disputedclaims. Administrative agencies while performing judicial functions,they are similar to upper and lower courts, and they require a fulland fair hearing. The quasi-judicial agencies make decisionsconcerning the rights of parties in a particular area of stateconcern.

Inconclusion, the United States Justice system is based on theconstitution considering that Article 111 establishes the federalcourts and gives power to the Congress to come up with various lowercourts. The federal courts are comprised of the Supreme Court, whichis the highest in the country, followed by the thirteen courts ofappeal and ninety-four district courts. The state courts that havebeen given powers by the state laws are made up of the supreme,district courts, circuit courts and county courts as per the Floridastate. In all these courts, from the federal jurisdiction to thestate jurisdiction, impartiality platform has been setup on which thejudges are permitted to apply the law regardless of the wish of thegovernment or the sway of the public opinion.


Baum,L. (2013).&nbspAmericancourts: Process and policy.Boston: Wadsworth.

Dorsen,N., &amp DeJulio, C. (2013).&nbspTheembattled constitution.NewYork: New York University Press.

Kowalski,K. M. (2012). Judges and courts: A look at the judicial branch.Minneapolis: Lerner Publications.

Madani,H. (2013).&nbspTheSupreme Court and the judicial branch: How the federal courtsinterpret our laws.Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers.

Miller,M. C. (2015).&nbspJudicialpolitics in the United States.Boulder,Colorado: Westview Press.

Neubauer,D. W. (2012).&nbspAmerica`scourts and the criminal justice system.Belmont, CA [u.a.: Wadsworth.