Crime is still an epidemic in the world and I think the soft and easily bought judicial system plays a large factor in this problem. So the legal system will be overhauled to compensate for this in the following ways:
All current ‘misdemeanours’ will be legalised.
Crimes which are legitimately minor and not something which should be dealt with by the legal system (copyright law, prostitution, possession of drugs etc…) will be decriminalised, disputes arising from these issues will be dealt with in the domestic courts instead. Grace may be removed if the action of someone directly causes someone else discomfort or harm.
The two-verdict system will be replaced with a three-verdict system.
Innocent and guilty are too cut and dry for a system such as this one. Therefore an additional verdict of ‘verifiably guilty’ will be added. This additional verdict is for the cases where there can be no mistake as to the verdict (through irrefutable evidence).
Actual crimes will be given harsher sentences.
Burglary, arson, fraud etc.… will no longer be treated as crimes which can be easily ‘gotten away with’. If found guilty of these crimes the defendant will lose a significant amount of grace and likely be sent to jail.
Malicious and violent crimes such as rape, grievous assault and murder will involve a thorough investigation. Someone found to be verifiably guilty of one of these crimes would be put in the sub-toxic class and incarcerated – probably for life.
Someone found to be unverifiablely guilty would be sent to prison until proven reformed and placed in the toxic class with an option to appeal.
Prison sentences will no longer be used as a deterrent, only people who are a danger to others will be incarcerated and even then their jail term will only last as long as they are considered dangerous. Rehabilitation for non-violet crimes will take place within the community.
Public privacy will be abolished
Public privacy is already largely a dead concept so this won’t be a great leap but any country which adopts Aretecracy will have to accept public CCTV. Internet will not be monitored, however individuals who are suspected of a crime will have their privacy rights temporarily suspended throughout the investigation. Note: Unless you live in a penal colony, there will never be any form of audiovisual surveillance in your home, regardless of your status.
Antisocial behaviour will be subject to public assessment.
Minor offences – such as causing upset or offence to someone – are difficult to deal with in our current society. You can’t arrest someone for being antisocial and this is no different under Aretecracy. However each individual will have a publicly available profile which people will be able to add a positive or negative assessment to. If someone receives enough negative assessments over a period of time, that person will be investigated and will lose Grace.
As this system is potentially open to abuse – careful regulations will take place on the type of ‘feedback’ an individual can receive and assessments will be carried out to ensure that the assessments are fair.
Police presence will be increased
The days of a ‘bobby on the beat’ will return, the police will be split into three departments:
Protectors will be the beat cops, they will always be around and will be the first on the scene of any crime in order to protect the population. They are not there to investigate crimes, or prevent non-violent/trespass crimes from happening. Their role is literally just to protect the population from harm.
Investigators are the equivalent of detectives with a bit of old fashioned police work thrown in the mix, they will be second on the scene of a crime and will investigate the cause and effect, try to find a perpetrator (if the protectors have not already apprehended them) and file criminal charges if required.
Enforcers are the equivalent of the military police or SWAT teams, their job is to keep the peace and prevent violence from occurring. They are also the people called upon by the investigators to bring in any criminals who have been found. They are the only section authorised to use lethal force and will be required to justify its use any time they do so.
The criminal courts will be abolished.
I find the concept of a jury to be farcical; a group of non-experts giving an opinion, which will free or condemn someone, is just ridiculous. Instead an assigned team of Investigators will be the people who decide if someone is guilty based on evidence, testimony and expert opinion.
The final investigation of every criminal case will be witnessed by a random selection of the public (so people cannot be sentenced behind closed doors as this is too open to corruption) but they will not have any say in the verdict.
Every detail of the trial will broadcast online for the public to watch.
The following new laws will be enacted
True freedom of speech will be made law
Anyone may speak about anything to anyone; there will be no subject that cannot be spoken about.
Censorship of any kind will be outlawed. Sheltering people from difficult truths or reality doesn’t help anyone.
Comments which are offensive will be protected under ‘freedom of speech’, however the offended individual
reserves the right to report the person who said the offensive comments and Grace may be removed if enough people
find a person to be offensive.
Consistent, targeted verbal abuse will not be protected under freedom of speech and will be considered at the same level as physical abuse.
Civilians will not be permitted to own ballistic weaponry.
Guns tip a scale which shouldn’t be tipped, people occasionally kill each other, that’s a sad fact of human nature but if one side has a gun and the other doesn’t, it’s hardly a fair fight.
Sexual services will be legalised
If someone wishes to sell sex then that is up to them and nobody else, legal prostitution is also regulated prostitution and will therefore decrease the risk of people trafficking.
Harm to other humans will not be tolerated
Physical or emotional abuse will be considered a criminal matter. The scope of domestic abuse will be widened to include mentally oppressing someone or treating them as sub-human. All reported cases of abuse would be investigated as a criminal case. Intentional, malicious assault will be given the same criminal charges as rape or murder and can carry the death penalty.
Intentional harm to animals will be considered the same as intentional harm to humans
Animals die at human hands in ways which can’t be avoided, they are killed for meat and they run in front of cars. These are facts of life which need to be lived with, however intentionally killing or harming an animal for any other reason will be considered a criminal offence equal to doing the same to a human being.