Media Law: Crown court and appeal courts

  • Created by: Alasdaire
  • Created on: 14-02-23 08:39
what do juries do at crown court?
decide if each charge is proven
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what do judges do at crown court?
rule on law and sentence convicted defendants
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who are jurors?
- 12 people aged between 18 and 75
- selected randomly from electoral rolls
- anyone jailed in the last 10 years are barred from being jurors
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High Court Judge
- sit in high court and crown court
- known as Mr. Justice... or Mrs. Justice...
- wear red robes for criminal cases
- only they can try the most serious offences
- most experienced judge
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circuit judge
- known as judge...
- barristers for at least 10 years
- part-time judges
- barristers or solicitors who have held 'right of audience' (right to represent a client) at crown court
- known as the recorder...
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lawyers at crown court
- usually referred to as counsel
- barristers do the prosecution and also, usually, represent the defence
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routes to crown court
cases have come from a magistrate's court or a youth court
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what is the arraignment?
a defendant whose case is sent to a crown court is asked to plead guilty or not guilty to each charge on the indictment so formal pleas can be recorded
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what happens to reporting prior to the jury's involvement?
- potential jurors must not know what was discussed prior to the hearing
- reporting restrictions apply when the jury is not in attendance
- used to avoid prejudice
- prejudicial material includes, defendant's previous convictions or evidence ruled admi
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what can be reported on?
- the name of the crown court and judges
- the names, ages, home addresses and occupations of defendants and witnesses
- the charges in full or summarised
- the names of solicitors or barristers in the case
if proceedings are adjourned, the date and place
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what happens if bail is refused?
if bail is refused it should not be reported why and why prosecution opposed bail or the reasons the judge gave for refusing it
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which types of hearings?
unsuccessful applications for a case to be dismissed, prior to arraignment.
A defendant sent for trial at s crown court may apply to a judge, before arraignment, for it to be dismissed because of insufficient evidence
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What is a prepatory hearing
- must be held in terrorism cases
- so the judge can rule on case management issues.
- marks the start of the case and is held before the jury is sworn in
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what can a report include when automatic reporting restrictions apply, concerning relevant business information?
- any address used by the defendant for their business
- the name of the business when events happened
- name and address of any firm they were a partner of
- name of any company they were a director
- any working address of the defendant
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what else can be reported?
it is safe to report pre-trial crown court hearings, neutral descriptions of the court scene and non-prejudicial background facts
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what is the safest course to obey the reporting restrictions?
a journalist should ask the court clerk what type of hearing the judge considers it to be - unless advised it is a pre-trial a journalist should include the categories of the scope of the automatic reporting restrictions
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when do automatic reporting restrictions cease to apply?
- at the conclusion of relevant proceedings
- when it becomes clear no relevant trial is pending
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what does section 71 of the criminal justice act ban?
reporting of any crown court discussion
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how to report the arraignment
if defendants deny the charge, media can report these pleas contemporaneously if there will be just one trial
if there are a mixture of guilty and not guilty a judge may stop publication of some of the information
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procedure in crown court trials
media can report on anything the jury hears but must comply with any additional reporting restrictions
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when does the crown court trial start?
when the jury is sworn in
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when can the judge decide on a majority verdict?
normally it should be unanimous:
- after 2 hours and 10 minutes and failed to reach verdict the judge can decide on a majority verdict:
- 12 jurors = 11-1 or 10-2
- if there was a majority verdict the media should report it as such
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sentencing at crown court
crown courts frequently impose jail terms but have the same range of other sentencing options as magistrates
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life sentences and extended sentences
life sentences are imposed for murder and other serious offences

a defendant convicted of a sexual, violent or terrorism offence can be categorised as 'dangerous' meaning that the judge considers there's a significant risk of them committing again
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journalists can visit prisoners
journalists have the right to visit a convicted prisoner investigating whether there has been a miscarriage of justice
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the supreme court
- highest court in criminal and civil law

- only hears 40 - 50 of the most significant cases a year
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why may someone get a re-trial?
- if a crown court trial convicts someone of interference with or intimidation of a juror

- if new and compelling evidence emerges
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when is the crown court used as an appeal court?
defendants can appeal to a crown court if magistrates refuse bail
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the high court
a defendant can appeal to high court on the grounds that a decision was wrong in law
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judicial reviews
hearings which can consider other types of challenge to decisions made by magistrates

the media can use judicial reviews to challenge discretionary reporting restrictions
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courts martial
armed forces are subject to UK law even if crime was outside the UK

they are open to public and media
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


what do judges do at crown court?


rule on law and sentence convicted defendants

Card 3


who are jurors?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


High Court Judge


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


circuit judge


Preview of the front of card 5
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