Criminal Process and Criminal Courts

The criminal courts process

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The Criminal Process and Criminal Courts
The Supreme Court
Court of Appeal
Queen's Bench Division
Crown Court
Magistrates Court
There are 3 different types of criminal offence: Summary
Triable either way
Summary offences deal with minor crimes such as speeding and are tried in the magistrates court.
Indictable offences deal with the more serious crimes such as murder and rape and are tried in the
crown court.
Triable either way offences are for things such as burglary of theft and can be tried in either the
magistrates or the crown court.
Magistrates Court
All cases start in the Magistrates court and with Triable either way offences, it is the Magistrates who
decided whether the case should be dealt with by them or by the Crown if it is more serious than first
Cases are heard by three lay magistrates and a district judge.
Crown Court
The Crown court deals with indictable offences which are split into 4 categories-
Class1; most serious- tried by a high court judge
Class2; tried by a high court and a circuit judge
Class3&4;less serious- tried by a circuit judge of recorder
Cases in the crown are heard by a judge and a jury and can hear appeals from Magistrates court
against a conviction or a sentence. When hearing an appeal, there will only be a judge, no jury as the
verdict has already been made on the case.

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Queen's Bench Division
The Queen's Bench Division only deals with cases from the Magistrates in which the case has been
wrongly interpreted.
Cases are heard by three high court judges
Court of Appeal
The court of appeal hears cases appealed from the crown court against conviction or sentencing.
The president of the court is the Lord Chief Justice and this is who does the work in the court of
Appeals will be heard by the judges.…read more

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The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) was set up to make the appeal route much faster and
more effective.…read more


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