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  • Created by: Bryony
  • Created on: 05-01-11 17:15

Advantages of having Magistrates

Cost

-annual saving of having magistrates is £100 million

-they are unpaid, except enpenses

-cheaper than training judges for that role

-magistrates training is £400, judges is £90,000

-the only profit making court in English Legal System

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Advantages of having Magistrates

Public Confidence

-example: studies in 2000 and 2001

-suggested public would not support any moves to lessen role of magistrates

 

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Advantages of having Magistrates

Local Knowledge

-crown court spend lot of time explaining scene of crime to jury

-when sentencing can take local problems into account

-example: DPP v. Paul

-magistrates were asked if a kerb crawler would be a nuicance

-because they knew local problems they knew it would be

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Advantages of having Magistrates

Availability of Judges

-if judges had to replace magistrates 1,000 would need to be employeed

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Disadvantages of having Magistrates

Unrepresentative of Society

-said to be: 'middle aged, middle minded, middle classed and white'

-all one type of person

-5% under 40

-2/3s have proffessional or managerial jobs

-compared to 1/3 in population

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Disadvantages of having Magistrates

Inconsistent

-some are more harsh than others

-sentencing/conviction in different areas does not add up

-example: those convicted of ABH sentenced..

Bath - 14%, Bristol - 26%, Somerset - 8%

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Disadvantages of having Magistrates

Case Hardened and Biased

-they are use to hearing cases

-no longer sensitive to defedant or his reason

-example: Bingham Justices ex Jowitt

-motorist was convicted of speeding, only evidence was his and police officers words

-magistrate said 'my principle.. always been to believe the evidence of a police officer'

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Disadvantages of having Magistrates

Reliance on Police and Legal Adviser

-they ignore their neutral stance

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Advantages of having a Jury

Public Participation

-reinforces view

-CJS serves society as a whole

-not totally removed from society

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Advantages of having a Jury

Balance against State

-not all the power is with the government

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Advantages of having a Jury

Perverse Verdicts

-a view of public opinion and the justice of bringing a prosecution

-example: R v. Owen

-verdict was completely against overwhelming evidence

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Disadvantages of having a Jury

Effect of Jury Service

-particuarly when case has similarities to personal experience

-example: Tony Martins case

-the jury were nobbled by the king of the gypsies and a woman was reported to be too terrified to leave her house

-example: Rosemary West

-very distressing evidence

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Disadvantages of having a Jury

Not Required to give Reasoned Verdicts

-can give verdict on a whim

-could just be going with the flow to go home

-example: R v. Shipman and fraud cases

-the jury may no have knowledge to reach a verdict

-example: R v. Young

-jurors may give unproffessional, unfair decisions - use ouija board

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Disadvantages of having a Jury

Not truly Representative

-many are excluded as being disqualified

-likely that the jury will have a high proportion of elderly

-this is because most defendants are under 25 and also mothers with young children are disqualified

-jury vetting may also affect representative make-up.

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