20 terms

As level Law - Criminal Courts and Lay People


Terms in this set (...)

Work of Lay magistrates
- Try all summary offences and decide whether guilty or not guilty.
- Decide bail
- Specially trained ones sit in Youth Center
- Can issue arrest/ search warrants to police
Work of lay magistrates - Either Way Cases Procedure
Plea before venue and allocation
-PLEADS GUILTY - decide if they are able to sentence D or if the sentence should be given at Crown Court
-PLEADS NOT GUILTY - Works out most suitable court for trial who then hears both sides. Either way offences tried in magsitrates unless sentencing powers are likely to be insufficient.
- TRIAL IN MAGISTRATES - day of trial:
-3 mags hear evidence and decide verdict
-If found guilty, will sentence up to max sentencing powers or can let the Crown Court sentence.
Magistrates - Character Qualities
- Good character
- Understanding + communication
- Social awareness
- Maturity
- Sound judgement
- Commitment + reliability
Qualifications of Magistrates
- Character qualities
- Live in local justice area
- Aged 18 - 65
Qualifications of Magistrates (exclusions)
- Incompatible work e.g police
- Bankruptcy
- Serious criminal convictions
Selection of Magistrates
1) Local Advisory Committees advertise for individuals to come forward - aims to make a representative bench
2) First Interview - assess attitudes and qualities of a candidate
3) Second Interview - Assess judicial qualities and is practical
4) Local Advisory Committee recommends suitable people to the Lord Chief
Appointment of Magistrstes
- Lord Chief or its delegate will appoint from its list of recommended candidates sent by local advisory committees
- Aims to select a bench society representative
- Oath of allegience
- Background checks
Training of magistrates
1) INITIAL TRAINING -- introductory training on role basics
- They sit in court with 2 experienced magistrates
2) MENTORING - each new magistrate has a specifically trained mentor for guidance in the first few months
- Over first year
- Further training
- Visits to prison
- At the end of first year
- Builds on core training
- Helps magistrates prepare for first appraisal
- 12 - 18 months after appointment
- Mentor + mag must agree they are ready
Rule of jurors
Try indictable and either way offences
1) after being selected 12 jurors:
- Listen to arguments and evidence from both sides
- Cross examination of witnesses
- Closing speeches from both sides
- Judges summing up of evidence
2) Jury retires to jury room to have a secret discussion and come to a verdict
3) Verdict must be unanimous or 11 - 1, 10 - 2
- If there is less than 12 jurors only one can disagree
- If there are 9 jurors it must be unanimous.
-Cannot go below 9
4) - public announcement of verdict
- No reasons for decisions are given
5) If D is found guilty the judge will decide on a sentence
Advantages of mags
-Public confidence in trial by peers
-Representative of society 52% being women
-Knowledge of local problems as they live in the area
Disadvantages of mags
-Criticised for being middle aged and aren't very representative
-Inconsistencies in sentencing
-Don't have knowledge of poor areas
Selection of jurors
1) Central Summoning Bureau randomly selects people from electoral register
2) Once in jury waiting room 15 are randomly chosen and sent to a court room.
3) 12 jurors are then selected by the clerk and are then sworn in
Challenge to the array
Whole jury (unrepresentative)
Challenge for cause
Individual juror (know D)
-Routine police checks
-Wider background checks if case involves terrorism
Role of jurors
1) listen to:
-arguments and evidence from defence and prosecution
-Cross examination of witnesses by defence and prosecution
-Closing speeches
-Judges summing up of evidence
2) Retire to private room and decide on verdict, unanimous or 10-2
3) Announce verdict
What type of cases do juries try
Either way or indictable
Qualifications of jurors
- 18 - 70
- Registered on electoral register
- Lived in UK for 5(+) years
Disqualification of jurors
- On bail
- Serious convictions
- Mentally ill
Jurors excused
- Serving in armed forces, taking exams
- If they know D or witnesses
- Judge may discharge