The idea of republican theory came into being in the early seventeenth century within Europe and around the eighteenth century in Italy and America. The republicans believe in the decree of law with people fighting for the good of the community. The republican theory has been mainly centered on the idea of republican liberty while urging on the issue of the corrective Criminal Justice System. It is set on the idea of cutting costs, giving an individual an opportunity to a fair trial as well as checking that power is not misused.
The republican theory puts forward the idea of republican freedom known as dominion. Dominion portrays the idea that instead of the offenders being punished for their wrongdoings, the theory suggests that such punishment should end to promote freedom. This freedom suggested in the republican theory is that of a social world; this means that freedom should be within the society. In this way, it will give people the freedom of movement, protection of property as well as promote equality in society. It explains that an individual enjoys freedom when they are living in a social setting that gives one guarantee of freedom.
The individual should then enjoy the guarantee of freedom personally, and other people should be able to know that you are enjoying this freedom. This theory also clearly states that for an individual to enjoy this freedom other people should also be able to enjoy the same amount of freedom. This freedom of authority can be seen as evil when there is interference by unwanted authority. It is perceived to be positive when other individuals do not interfere and it is known publicly that they do not have a right to interfere.
Disadvantages of the republican theory
The republican theory though modified in modern times still inhibits some disadvantages. The law may not be able to cater to a situation where the basic needs are scarce since this will place the least advantaged members of the society in a situation of economic vulnerability. For these people to be able to satisfy their basic needs they are required to serve the oppressive privileged group or depend on charity for their basic needs. In such a situation, the republican theory of freedom will need to include other provisions on the law concerning the unmet basic needs.
The other problem that arises in the republican theory of freedom is the issue of family and gender relations. The traditional law that was in place subjected mothers and children to the subjective authority in which the children’s rights in the law were restricted to those of the mothers and thus it led to complete dependency for both the mother and the children on the family they lived in. The republican theory of freedom needs to look at the issues of children’s rights as well as those of gender equality.
Republican Theory and the Criminal Justice System
The republican theory supports the idea of a less penalizing criminal justice system. This means the system is directed all around by republican freedom. In the Australian legal setting, political protests are illegal and this has led to conflicts with the individuals who are concerned with making political reforms. The republican theory has positive methods of influencing change in the laws as well as the way the police implement the laws. This republican freedom which is referred to as dominion is not there just to protect people from subjective authority but also insists that the administration should be able to eradicate inequality which deters people from complaining against governmental policies or other institutions.
The republican theory of freedom is however vulnerable because the governing institutions may place subjective power on the citizens. It is also threatened by the fact that people or groups may have subjective authority over others. This can be demonstrated in a situation where there is no civil law people would not be able to know how the law protects them amongst each other and thus it will lead to the stronger party oppressing the weaker group. The republican theory has set up a domestic legal system so that people will have equal opportunities.
The republican theory advocates that the punishments that are given to the offenders should be removed so that they may be able to heal society. The theory advocates that the government institutions and policies should be in such a way that there is more dominion in the society than less of it. It is also evident that it may be risky since people may break very sacred laws because the law provides for pardon and thus dominion, in this case, will be jeopardized. Australian people may find the abuse of such subjective authority to be something small compared to the criminal defendant. This has brought a lot of controversies because the wrongdoers are believed to go back to society and keep practicing crime.
There has been a lot of debate on the positive as well as negative implications of the republican theory and how it affects the Criminal Justice System. Issues have been raised on whether the theory can be able to be used by judges, the government and other institutions in the country. The idea of whether or not the theory should be used by the individuals who are not restricted from using it or if they find it attractive or not has raised lots of questions. The republican theory calls for the criminal justice system and the stakeholders to make informed decisions in protecting individuals in the society.