unit 1 english legal system

just revision not whole topic

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  • Created by: oli
  • Created on: 10-05-11 20:59

Role of Courts

Offender found guilty

Role of court is to find the correct sentencing for the crime and the offender

Magistrates have a maximum fine of £5000 and a maximum sentence of 6 months for one offence and 12 months for more than one offence

Criminal Justice Act 2003 has provision which means these sentences can be lengthed to 12 months for one and 15 months for more than one

Crown court has no limits up to life sentences and no limit for fines

Crown court deals with more serious cases

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Restrictions on courts sentences

Each offence has a set maximum sentence that has been set by parliment

Such as theft has a maximum limit of 7 years regardless of how much the person has stolen

Some offences have a maximum sentence of life and these include manslaughter and ****. In these cases the judges have complete discretion.

Whereas murder has manditory life sentence which the judge will have to pass

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Aims of Sentencing

s 142 Criminal justice Act 2003 sets out aims of sentencing for adults:

  • Punishment/retribution
  • Deterence
  • Reform/rehab
  • Protection of public
  • Reparation for offenders
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Aims of Sentences

Retribution-tariff system set out by Sentencing Guidlines Council

Deterrence-General ,individual

Reform-Forward looking, creates individualised sentencing

Protection of public-under Criminal justice act 2003 can set imprisonment for public protection

Reparation-Aims at compensating the victim

Dennciation-disaproval by society

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Sentencing Practice in the Courts

Factors surrounding the offfence; set out in s 143 Criminal Justice Act 2003:

  • Previous convictions
  • Was the defendant on bail
  • Racial or Religious hostility in the offence
  • Hostility against disabilitys or gender

These are aggravating factors

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Guilty Plea

may be a reduction in the sentence if the defendant pleads guilty at certain moments in the case:

1/3 will be taken off the sentence for pleading guilty at the first reasonable instance

1/4 after the trial is set

1/10 Door of court

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Offenders Background

Some aspects of the defendant will be looked at throughout the case and will affect the sentence:

  • Pre-sentence reports
  • Medical Reports
  • Financial Situation of the offender
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Sentencing Guidlines Council

Set up in 2003 by Criminal justice Act 2003

Issues guidelines on any aspects of sentencing

They must make the guidlines in regards to:

  • need for consistancy
  • Costs of sentencing
  • Promoting public confidence in the justice system

Guidelines they have made:

  • overarchingprinciples on sentencing in domestic violence cases
  • guidance on robbery cases
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Power of the Courts

Custodial Sentences:

  • Manditory life sentences
  • Discretionary life sentences
  • Fixed -term Sentences

These sentences are for crimes that cannot be justified with a fine or community sentence

Other Sentences:

  • Home detention Curfew
  • Extended sentences-where the offender is at liberty on licence (only for up to 10 years
  • Minimum sentences
  • Suspended sentences- up to two years if the offender does not commit any more crimes in this time the sentence will not be served
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Community orders

S177 of criminal justice Act 2003:

  • Unpaid work requirement-40 to 300 hours on a suitable project
  • Prohibited activity requirement
  • Curfew
  • Exclusion- cant go certain places
  • Supervision
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Magistrates can impose a fine on a offender up to £5000 for an individual or up to £20000 for a buissness

Disqualification from Driving

Compensation order

Deprivation order-lose car or other object used in the offence

Deffered sentences- if the judge thinks the offenders circumstances are going to change can be deffered for six months and reopened to see if the ofender has reformed

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Young offenders

Main aim is rehabilitation

Available sentences:

Young offenders institutions-18 to 20

Detention and training orders-12 to 21

Community orders-16 and over

Supervision orders-18 and under

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Mentally Ill

Wider range of powers

Requirement to have treatment

May be required to have a hospital order- s1 Metal health act 1983

Can be sent to secure hospital for public protection

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