Role of private investigators in the present legal system has been a major concern for law enforcing agencies for several decades. Where private detectives are not perceived as representatives of legal authorities and government officials, they are often used as a source of gaining intelligence. …
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Considering the roles of Sherlock Holmes and Sam Spade in ‘A Study of Scarlet’ and ‘A Maltese Falcon’ respectively, here arises a question if not being a government representative has any impact on their ability to work as investigators. In these literary works, Sherlock Holmes and Sam Spade are portrayed as characters that are detectives having exceptional intellectual abilities and despite the fact that they are not part of legal system, they successfully manage to operate as a single entity who does not need support of government or any authority delegated by it.
In order to identify if there is a connection between the position of the private detectives like Sherlock Holmes and Sam Spade outside the formal legal system and the ability to solve their cases, it is important to identify if the law recognizes private detectives and investigators as a legal entity. According to the law of many states such as UK, Indonesia etc, private investigators are individuals who are not provided with any authority delegated to them from any government agency (Private Investigators). Although there have been legislations about licensing of private investigators but there is nothing concrete in legal system which can support the independent operations of private investigators. Despite their inability to act as a legal entity, they are used by law firms, corporate officials, industry representatives, civilians and government for their own purposes. Proofs provided by these detectives are presented in the court of law with testimonies. However, concerns like infringement of privacy and unauthorized access to sophisticated information always remain valid. In the light of this argument, it is clear that where private detectives are shown as the lead characters in the work of Dashiell Hammett and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who cannot be replaced by any government official due to their indispensable ability to investigate critical cases; these characters have no jurisdiction or legal authority in the court of law. However, lack of legal authorization does not seem to hamper their ability to work as a private investigator; in fact, they appear to operate with more sovereignty due to no liability and accountability for their work. Characters like Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Watson and Sam Spade are imaginary characters which are personified as daring, intelligent, cunning and disconnected to emotional bonds. These traits govern their ability to operate as a private detective and also allow them to work without being hold back by other social factors. As far as their ability to operate is concerned, it’s their personal traits, attention to details and extensive knowledge which allows them to have a command on the subject matter, identify hidden leads and pick up the clues. These detectives are often seen as being recruited by the law enforcement agencies for assistance and apparently they have the ability to work as singular force in themselves, as portrayed by their authors. Sam Spade was often suspected by the Police for murders and other crimes but somehow he managed to mislead them and carry out his own private investigations while pairing with criminals. Sherlock Holmes is perceived as an ultimate clutch used by law enforcing agencies of that time. He is often found investigating personal matters and interfering in the lives of civilians which only falls under the jurisdiction of law enforcement agencies. Where modern era has no room for private investigators as a legal entity despite their extensive use by law firms, Police, civilians and even government, these two literary works have managed to portray private investiga
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“Private Detectives & Present Legal System Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/english/1461193-private-detectives-present-legal-system.
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