The one proper function of government is to protect your rights. To that end, a minimal government will maintain a fair and open justice system based on the rule of law.
The principles that must underpin a working justice system are reason and truth. Over centuries, systems have developed that provide a fair and open criminal justice system.
Presumption of innocence
Presumption of innocence is the foundation stone of a justice system that values truth. It is up to the accuser to prove his charge against you. Laws that assume your guilt in advance such as those that empower organisations like the Inland Revenue to harass people to the grave, or that allow the confiscation of your assets unless you can prove your own innocence, are unjust and must be purged from the books immediately.
Trial by jury
The jury system provides two valuables checks to the justice system. It ensures that prosecutors prove their case beyond reasonable doubt, and it gives ordinary people the chance to refuse to convict under unjust laws. Recent suggestions to allow majority instead of unanimous verdicts undermine this valuable protection.
No double jeopardy
A defendant should not be harassed by having to defend the same charge multiple times. If a defendant is acquitted that is the end of the story. Prosecutors must get their case right the first time. Recent attempts by Tony Ryall and Phil Goff to allow exemptions to this rule undermine an important pillar of the justice system.
No detention without trial
It is unjust to arrest someone and hold him without charge or to detain him without trial. An arrestee must be charged and tried, or released. Anything else is kidnapping. The two-year detention of Ahmed Zaoui without charge or trial shows that the basic rules of civil society are of no concern to the current government.
Protection of contracts
A proper government protects and defends contracts and agreements that you choose to make, and provides speedy, swift and inexpensive resolution should disagreements or dishonesty arise.
In all circumstances, a libertarian government respects and protects your property rights. We will have no truck with attempts to remove or abuse your property rights, whether by heritage organisations or utility companies, or by governments central or local.
One law for all
Libertarian governments offer special treatment to no-one. No-one should be above the law: not bureaucrats nor politicians, nor those of particular religions or skin colour. Those responsible for the Cave Creek disaster will be brought to justice.
Libertarianz will vigorously protect these vital institutions.
Justice should be inexpensive, and accessible. In a free and creative society, it is likely that the market will also come up with ways to avoid the expense and hassle of litigation. For many non-criminal cases – disputes between neighbours, or business contract disputes, for example – people may choose private arbitration or mediation companies rather than go through the courts. Of course, if these methods fail, the public courts will have the final word. In a vibrant, innovative environment, expect novel methods of dispute resolution to appear and to remove much of the burden from the court system.