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AS Level Law Machinery of Justice Criminal Court Process.

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Presentation on theme: "AS Level Law Machinery of Justice Criminal Court Process."— Presentation transcript:

1 AS Level Law Machinery of Justice Criminal Court Process

2 AS Level Law What you need to know: the law relating to bail the mode of trial procedure for either-way offences the criminal trial and appeals process the role of the Criminal Cases Review Commission the criteria for granting bail the differences between trial courts the effectiveness of the Criminal Cases Review Commission What you need to discuss:

3 AS Level Law Bail bail applications are dealt with during the Early Administrative Hearing at the magistrates’ court Bail Act 1976 gives a general right to bail, no matter how serious the offence magistrates can refuse bail where there are substantial grounds to believe the defendant will:  not surrender to bail  commit an offence  interfere with witnesses

4 AS Level Law factors to be considered:  nature and seriousness of the offence  defendant’s past criminal record  defendant’s ties with the community  defendant’s past record of surrendering to bail bail can also be refused if necessary for the defendant’s own safety or welfare

5 AS Level Law bail can be unconditional or conditions attached:  report to police  reside at a specified address  abide by a curfew bail refused? – defendant can renew application or appeal bail granted? – prosecution can appeal if offence punishable by at least 5 years imprisonment – Bail (Amendment) Act 1993

6 AS Level Law where defendant is charged with a serious offence and has a previous conviction for such an offence, bail only granted in exceptional circumstances – Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (as amended by Crime and Disorder Act 1998) main concern is variations and inconsistencies between courts in granting/refusing bail 15% of those remanded are not proceeded against or acquitted – does not necessarily invalidate bail decision as different criteria apply

7 AS Level Law Mode of Trial summary trial before District Judge or bench of three lay magistrates indictable offences now ‘sent forthwith’ from magistrates’ court to Crown Court either-way offences - magistrates proceed to ‘plea before venue’:  if defendant indicates guilty plea, he loses right to Crown Court trial and magistrates dispose of case summarily (Criminal Procedure and Investigation Act 1996)

8 AS Level Law  can include committal to Crown Court for sentence if magistrates believe their powers (max. 6 months for single offence and/or max. fine of £5,000) are inadequate  if defendant indicates not guilty plea, magistrates must determine venue, though defendant can elect Crown Court trial

9 AS Level Law Magistrates’ Court AdvantagesDisadvantages case resolved quicker  less effective legal representation lower possible sentence  greater chance of conviction

10 AS Level Law Crown Court AdvantagesDisadvantages better legal representation  delays greater chance of acquittal  higher possible sentence – judge 3x more likely to impose immediate custodial sentence, and sentence on average 2½x longer than magistrates time on remand (more privileges) counts as time served

11 AS Level Law Youth Courts defendants aged between tried by magistrates sitting as a Youth Court (except most serious offences) magistrates receive special training and sit as a mixed bench hearings less formal and held in private with reporting restrictions idea is to keep young offenders away from adult offenders and maximise possibility of reform

12 AS Level Law Crown Court trial guilty plea – judge alone; not guilty plea – judge and jury proceedings very formal – order generally as follows:  indictment read  Jury sworn in  prosecution opening speech  prosecution witnesses

13 AS Level Law  defence opening speech  defence witnesses  prosecution closing speech  defence closing speech  judge sums up and directs jury  jury retires to reach verdict

14 AS Level Law Appeals following summary trial to the Crown Court:  guilty plea, then can only appeal against sentence  not guilty plea, then can appeal against conviction, sentence or both  Crown Court can confirm, reverse or vary decision of the magistrates (including increasing sentence  further appeal on point of law, by defence or prosecution, by way of case stated to QBD

15 AS Level Law to Queen’s Bench Divisional Court:  by defence or prosecution, by way of case stated on a point of law  QBD can confirm, reverse or vary decision of magistrates, or remit case back to magistrates with its opinion from QBD to House of Lords, provided:  QBD certifies point of law of public importance  QBD or HL grants permission on basis that point ought to be considered by HL (AJA’60, s.1)

16 AS Level Law Appeal following trial on indictment from Crown Court to Court of Appeal (Criminal Division):  trial judge grants appeal certificate; OR  CA grants permission (CAA’95, s.1) can appeal against conviction, sentence or both regardless of trial plea if appeal against conviction only, CA cannot alter sentence

17 AS Level Law appeal allowed where CA satisfied the conviction is unsafe (CAA’95, s.2) appeal against sentence – CA can confirm, vary or reduce, NOT increase – may also issue guidelines from CA to HL, provided:  CA certifies point of law of public importance  CA or HL grants permission on basis that point should be considered by HL (CAA’68, s.33)

18 AS Level Law prosecution cannot appeal against an acquittal, but Attorney General can refer points of law to CA for clarification (CJA’72, s.36) prosecution cannot appeal against sentence, but Attorney General can refer sentence to CA if believed to be unduly lenient – CA can confirm, vary, decrease or increase sentence – may also issue guidelines (CJA’88, s.36)

19 AS Level Law Criminal Cases Review Commission RCCJ’93 recommended Home Secretary’s power to refer cases to CA should pass to an independent body CCRC established in 1997 under CAA’95 role:  consider suspected miscarriages of justice  arrange further investigations  refer case back to CA  respond to requests for assistance from CA  recommend and/or advise on pardons

20 AS Level Law while initial reviews completed quickly, considerable delay in dealing with cases taken forward to detailed review – see CCRC Annual Report and Home Affairs Select Committee ReportCCRC Annual Report Home Affairs Select Committee Report Annual Report 2001/2 states that increases in funding have enabled substantial progress in clearing backlog and reducing delays

21 AS Level Law CrimCts  - Bail CrimCts  - Mode of Trial CrimCts  - Youth Courts CrimCts  - Crown Court trial CrimCts  - Appeals after summary trial CrimCts  - Appeals after trial on indictment CrimCts  - Criminal Cases Review Commission Revision headings:

22 AS Level Law Using your cards, you should now be able to write a short paragraph in response to each of the following questions: Describe the law relating to the granting of bail Describe the determination of mode of trial Describe the role of Youth Courts Discuss the role of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Test Questions: Describe the routes and grounds for appeal

23 AS Level Law Useful websites: The Court Service website Home Office Criminal Justice pages Criminal Justice System website Criminal Cases Review Commission website The Auld Review of the Criminal Courts ‘Justice for All’: Responses to Auld and Halliday


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