Criminal Appeals

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  • Created on: 05-03-11 14:54
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Criminal Appeals
Appeals from the magistrate's court.
Different route than crown court.
Route depends on whether appeal on a point of law or another reason.
2 routes: Crown Court or Queen's Bench Divisional Court.
Appeals to the crown court.
Normal route.
Only available to defend.
If defendant pleaded guilty or Magistrate's Court, they can only appeal against sentence.
If defendant pleaded not guilty, can appeal both against conviction and sentence.
Both have automatic right to appeal.
At crown court; case completely reheard by judge and 2 magistrates, can decide with or
against previous.
Crown court against sentence; confirm, decrease or increase.
12000 appeals per year.
Case stated appeals.
Appeals on points of law- no witnesses.
To Queen's Bench divisional.
Both defence and prosecution can use.
Previous court asked to start case by setting out their finding for fast decision.
Argued on what law is on those facts.
Heard by 2 or 3 high judges- sometimes a judge from court of appeal.
Defendant only against conviction not sentence.
100 appeals each year.
Appeals by the defendant.
Possibility of appealing against conviction/sentence to the Court of Appeal.
At the end of the trial when found guilty, lawyer advises defendant on appeal.
Must be done verbally or written within 14 days.
To make an appeal, a notice must be filed at the Court of Appeal.
The Criminal Appeal Act 1995.
Simplified the grounds under which the court can allow an appeal.
The Act state that the Court of Appeal.
a) Shall allow an appeal against conviction if they think that the conviction is unsafe.
b) Shall dismiss such an appeal in any other case.
Since the European convention on Human Rights has been incorporated into our law by
the human Rights Act 1998, the Court of Appeal has a broad approach to the term
`Unsafe' ­ where the defendant has been denied a fair trial.

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The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill 2007 proposes to amend the grounds for
It will add a provision that a `conviction is not unsafe if the Court of Appeal are satisfied
that the appellant is guilty of the offence'.
Challenge criticised.
Court of Appeal's powers.
Can allow the defendant's appeal and quash the conviction.
Varies conviction to a lesser offence.
Court can increase/decrease the defendant's appeal.
Court can dismiss an unsuccessful appeal.
The power to retrial in front of a new jury.…read more

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Against sentencing.
Section 36 of the Criminal Justice act 1988 the Attorney-General can apply for leave to
refer an unduly lenient sentencing to the Court of Appeal for re-sentencing.
For indictable cases only.
Extended in 1994 to many triable either way offences.
Luan Plakici, found guilty of kidnapping, procuring girls for sex and living off prostitution.
Brought young girls into Britain from Eastern Europe.…read more

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The Criminal Appeal Act 1995 established the Criminal Cases review commission; the
proposal was made by Royal Commission.
It's responsible for bringing cases where possible miscarriage of justice to the attention
of Court of Appeal if it was originally heard by the Crown Court.
Either a person can apply to the Commission or Commission itself can, using own
Commission can carry out investigation; police may have to reinvestigate.
Able to seek opinion from Court of Appeal, before making reference.…read more


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