Thursday, December 5, 2019
The Parity Principle in Judgement
Question: Discuss aboutthe Parity Principle in Judgement. Answer: Introduction The principle of parity in judgement according to Hampel Gurvich, (2003) is an element of systematic objectivity, equality and consistency before the law. It provides for the treatment of same cases alike and different cases differently. An assertion by the accused of unjustified disparity in the case can form strong premise of appeal. With parity principle, prosecution, defence counsels, and courts are required to take necessary steps to ensure that related offences are preferably sentence by the same judge at the same time. Hampel Gurvich, ( 2003) note that if the co-accused persons are not sentenced by the same judge, questions may arise as to whether a judge in the second judgement will be bound by the findings of the first judge. In the DPP v Kamay case, the judge sentenced the offender for total effective sentence of 7 years and 3 months. The offender appealed the judgment on several grounds among them that the judges failed to apply the principle of parity. The applicant in his appeal observed that the judge erred in unreasonably discriminating in sentencing between him and his co-accused. Although the applicant and his co-offender were charged with different offences, the applicant submitted that the parity principle has a role to play and that the judge exercised unjustified disparity in the sentences. The appellant noted that the judge erred by ordering that the co-offender sentence be served concurrently while the applicant sentence be served cumulatively. The submission noted that the difference in sentencing enlivened the principle of parity. The appellant based his argument on theFarrugia v The Queen decision where the judges held that the parity principle can apply to defendants in the same charges who are not co-offenders. While accepting that the parity principle may be invoked, the judges held that the applicant and his co-accused played distinct roles and thus the disparity was justified and dismissed the appeal. In the R v Curtis case, the judge considered the principle of parity in sentencing the offender which they noted is a fundamental aspect of the rule of law. The judge observed that it was necessary to consider the sentenced meted on Hartman. The court also took consideration that there should be no disparity between white collar offenders and other offences. References Farrugia v The Queen ,  VSCA 201 (Supreme Court of Victoria 06 30, 2011). Hampel, G., Gurvich, D. (2003).Bail law in Victoria: A practical guide to the law, procedure and advocacy .Annandale: Federation Press. Kamay v The Queen,  VSCA 296 ( Supreme Court of Victoria 11 13 , 2015). R v Curtis, (No 3)  NSWSC 866 (Supreme Court of New South Wales 06 24, 2016).