Criminal Courts and Lay People

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  • Criminal Courts and Lay People
    • Magistrates
      • Role
        • Hear 97% of cases
          • Summary and some triable-either-way offenses
        • Committal proceedings (see procedure)
        • Sentence
          • Custodial
            • Up to 6 months imprisonment
          • Community
          • Fine
            • Up to £5000 fine
          • Discharge
        • Issueing sarch and arrest warrents
        • Youth Court
          • 10-17 years old
          • At least one of each gender
          • Must be specially trained
        • Continued detensuion under PACE
      • Qualification & Appointmnt
        • Recommended to the local advisory committee
        • 6 Key qualities
          • Good character
          • Sound Judgement
          • Social Awareness
          • Undertanding & communication
          • Maturity & sound temperment
          • Commitment & reliability
        • Interviews
          • First Interview
            • 6 Key qualities
              • Good character
              • Sound Judgement
              • Social Awareness
              • Undertanding & communication
              • Maturity & sound temperment
              • Commitment & reliability
            • Attitudes towards things like youth crime or drink driving
          • Second Interview
            • Judicial aplitude
              • Case study and sentencing options discussion
        • LAC recommend to LC
        • Elegablility
          • 18-65 years old
            • Retire by 70
          • Live or work locally
        • Disqualifications
          • Police
          • Certain criminals
          • Bankrupts
      • Training
        • Appointment
          • Core Training & activities
            • First sitting
              • Mentored sitting
                • Consolidation training (9-12 months)
                  • Appraisal (12-18 months)
                    • Ajucate in court as wingers
                      • 3 years continuous training until appraisal in 4th year
      • Advantages
        • Local knowledge
          • Patterns of crime
          • Local events and opinion
          • DPP v Paul
            • D picked up a prostitute in his car
            • Magistrates used local knowledge that this was a frequent behaviour and convicted
        • Cross-section of society
          • 51% women
          • since reforms in 1998
        • Fewer appeals
          • Only 5,00 out of 2 million
          • Less than 1/2 are successful
        • Cost
          • Saves around £100 million a year that it would take to replace them with single judges
        • Public Confidence
          • Trial by peer
          • Not case-hardened
      • Disadvantages
        • Prosecution Bias
          • Acquittal rate is only 20%
            • Crown court is 60%
          • Believe police too redily
          • Jowitt
            • "My principle in such cases has always been to trust the evidence of the police officer"
        • Not representatve
          • Middle aged, middle class
          • 40% are retired
          • Only 4% are below the age of 40
          • Mostly from manegerial or proffessional backgrounds
        • Sentence variation
          • Dweeling Burglary = community sentence
            • 20% in Teeside
            • 66% in Leicester
        • Too relient on legal advisor
          • Ahmed
            • Legal adviser had been inviting himself to retite with the magistrates
    • Procedure
      • Appeal Courts
        • From the Magistrates Court
          • Crown Court (Defense only)
            • Queens Bench Division (case-stated)
              • Supreme Court (case-stated)
          • Queens Bench Division (case-stated)
            • Supreme Court (case-stated)
        • From the Crown Court
          • Court of Appeal (leave granted)
            • Supreme Court (leave granted)
      • First Hearing
        • Plea before venue
          • Guilty
            • Can reduce sentence by a 1/3
          • Not Guilty
            • Case continues
        • Bail
          • Bail Act 1967
        • Legal Aid
          • Financial Support
            • State funded?
          • Representation
            • Own Brief
            • Duty Solicitor
            • Lawyer provided by court
      • Mode of Trial
        • Sentencing powers
          • Magistrates
            • Up to 6 months imprisonment
            • Up to £5000 fine
          • Crown
            • Statutory Maximum
        • Triable-either-way
          • D gets choice of which court trial is heard in.
            • Unless Magistrates feel they do not have adequate sentencing powers.
          • Can be heard in either court
          • E.g. theft, ABH
    • Juries
      • Role
        • Used in less than 1% of Criminal Cases
        • Split Function
          • Independence of jury
            • Bushells Case 1670
              • Judge locked up the jury and refused to feed them until they came to a decision which agreed with his own
        • Verdict
          • Unanimous verdict is prefered
          • Majority verdicts of 11:1 or 10:2 can be accepted
            • Must have been at least 2 hours and 10 minutes of discussion first
              • Foreman must stand and give numbers
        • Jury Equity
          • Ability to make decisions freely
          • Based off of conscience rather than law
            • R v Blythe
              • D cultivated cannabis for his wife who was suffering from ms
              • Pleaded "duress of circumstances"
              • Jury aqcitted dispite the clear evidence that he had committed a crime
            • R v Ponting
              • Clive Ponting, a civil servant in the Ministry of Defense, leaked information about the sinking of the Belgrano in the Fawlklands
                • Contrary to the Officials Secrets Act
              • Aqcitted him as they felt it was of  public improtance
          • Judge may direct the jury to acquit if he feels there is "no case to answer"
            • 10% of cases
        • Secrecy
          • Failure to do so will be in contempt of the Contempt of Court Act 1981
            • May lead to any convictions being quashed
          • R v Young
            • Jurors used a Ouija bored to decide on D's guild - finding him guilty
            • Conviction was quashed but when the case was reheard he was still found guiilty
      • Selection & Appointment
        • Selection Process
          • Central Summoning Bureau
            • Pool of 20 are selected
              • Anyone illegible is removed
                • Court clerk will randomly select 12
        • Challenging and Vetting
          • "To The Array"
            • Challenge the whole jury
              • For being bias or unrepresentative
            • Romford Jury
              • 9/12 jurors were from Romford
              • 2 lived in the same street
          • "Stand By"
            • Only Prosecution
            • Put a juror to the bottom of the selection list
          • Vetting
            • Can see the list of potential jurors before court selection
            • Check backgrounds and police records
            • Check for political sympathies in sensitive cases
              • Permission from Attorney General
              • E.g. Fraud, Terrorism, ect
          • "For Cause"
            • R v Sprason & Wilson
              • D's had been charged with robbery and were on remand at Exeter Prison
              • A juror was the wife of a prison officer there and knew the D's
              • Despite, her raising the issue before the case, her original concern was rejected until after the case when the case was quashed.
              • Most likely because they are personally known
      • Advantages
        • Trial by peer
          • Magna Carta 1215
            • Allowed trial by jury and guarenteed the civil rights ofindividuals
        • Bastion of liberty against the state
          • Lord Devlin: "the lamp that shows that freedom lives"
          • Independance from judges and the executive
        • Not case hardened
          • Only sit for two weeks
          • Makes them more lenient
        • No individual responsibility
          • Lord Devlin: "12 is better than 1"
        • Jury Equity
          • Ability to make decisions freely
          • Based off of conscience rather than law
            • R v Blythe
              • D cultivated cannabis for his wife who was suffering from ms
              • Pleaded "duress of circumstances"
              • Jury aqcitted dispite the clear evidence that he had committed a crime
            • R v Ponting
              • Clive Ponting, a civil servant in the Ministry of Defense, leaked information about the sinking of the Belgrano in the Fawlklands
                • Contrary to the Officials Secrets Act
              • Aqcitted him as they felt it was of  public improtance
          • Judge may direct the jury to acquit if he feels there is "no case to answer"
            • 10% of cases
        • Secrecy
          • Failure to do so will be in contempt of the Contempt of Court Act 1981
            • May lead to any convictions being quashed
          • R v Young
            • Jurors used a Ouija bored to decide on D's guild - finding him guilty
            • Conviction was quashed but when the case was reheard he was still found guiilty
      • Disadvantages
        • Slow and expensive
          • A single judge would be much cheaper
        • Media
          • Can cause cases to be quashed
          • Taylor Sisters
            • Convictions were quashed when they appealed at the CA
            • Would be impossible for them to get a fair trial because of the media coverage
        • Jury nobbling
          • A judge can hear a case without a jury under the Criminal Justice Act 2003
          • R v Twomey
            • Judge chose to hear the armed robbery trial without a jury
            • Serious chances of the jury being influenced
        • Lack of knowledge and understanding
          • R v Price
            • The case had to be reheard by a new juryafter the first one was deadlocked and failed to understand the most "basic concept" of trial
            • Asked to define reasonable doubt and if they could speculate information not present in evidence

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