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Criminal Process
Criminal Courts
Objectives
 Explain what is meant by an adversarial system
 Explain how offences are classified
 Describe the criminal court system
 Explain mode of trial
 Explain sending for trial
 Explain plea and case management hearings
 Explain disclosure and plea bargaining
 Assess whether plea bargaining should be allowed
 Explain the trial process / procedure
 Evaluate the system
The Criminal Process
Models of criminal justice systems
 Herbert Packer
 Crime control model
 Due process model
The Criminal Process
Classification of Offences
 Summary Offences
 Offences triable either way
 Indictable Offences
Privy Council European Court
of Human Rights
Supreme Court
Court of Appeal
High Court
(Queen’s Bench Division)
Crown Court
Magistrates’ Court
Leapfrog procedure
Appeal by way
of case stated
The Criminal Court System
Mode of Trial
 Triable either way offences – defendant can insist on jury trial,
otherwise it is up to the Magistrates
How do the magistrates make this decision?
 Seriousness of the case
 Their sentencing powers
 Since 1996 – they must take into account the defendant’s plea
 Criminal Justice Act 2003, Sched.3 – magistrates will be told of
defendant’s prior convictions when deciding mode of trial.
Sending for Trial
Section 51 Crime and Disorder Act 1998 – ‘sending for trial’ hearing
(old committal procedures abolished by the Criminal Justice Act 2003)
‘Sending for trial’ – indictable offences :
1. One appearance in Magistrates’ Court to determine e.g. funding of case, bail, use of
exhibits and statements.
2. Magistrates provide statement of evidence, notice of the offence(s) and place of trial.
3. Then sent immediately to Crown Court.
 Criminal Procedure Rules 2005 – introduced plea and case management
hearings (replaced the old plea and directions hearings).
Aim: to encourage early preparation of cases and reduce ‘cracked trials’:
 hearings held in open court, defendant present, enter a plea – process known as
the ‘arraignment ’
 If guilty plea – proceed to sentence
 If not guilty, prosecution and defence identify the key issues
Plea & Case Management Hearings
Disclosure
Criminal Justice Act 2003 & Criminal Procedure & Investigations
Act 1996:
 Defence obliged to disclose all its evidence to the prosecution – including defences
they intend to rely on and points of law they will raise
 Defence must provide names and addresses of all witnesses including experts
 Prosecution – continuing duty to disclose anything that might reasonably be capable of
undermining the prosecution case or helps the defence case.
Plea Bargaining
Negotiations between the prosecution and defence e.g. defendant
agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge:
 Pleas bargaining very common in US and now in the English system
 R v Turner (1970) – judges not allowed to get involved in plea bargaining
 R v Goodyear (2005) – defendant can request an indication from the judge as
to likely sentence if they plead guilty
Is plea bargaining in the interests of justice? What do you think?
The Trial
 Burden of proof – prosecution – beyond all reasonable doubt
 Prosecution presents first
 Defence then presents their case (unless submission of no case to answer is
successful)
 Youth Justice & Criminal Evidence Act 1999 – measures aimed at protecting
vulnerable witnesses giving evidence
 Each side makes closing speech
 Crown Court ‒ judge sums up for the jury
 ss.101-103 Criminal Justice Act 2003 & R v Hanson (2005) evidence of bad
character and previous convictions
The Criminal Process
1. Should evidence of bad character and previous
convictions be admitted?
2. What are the arguments for and against the allowing
of such evidence?
Criticism of the System
 Cracked and ineffective trials
 Problems with disclosure – Criminal Procedure & Investigations Act 1996
 Confession evidence and miscarriages of justice – the need for a corroboration
rule
 Role of expert witnesses – R v Clark (2003)
 Treatment of victims and witnesses
 Role of the media – contempt of court
Reforms
 Community Justice Centres
 Government paper: Delivering simple, speedy, summary
justice(2006) – ‘next day justice’
Test Yourself
1. What is meant by an adversarial system?
2. How are criminal offences classified?
3. What is meant by mode of trial?
4. What are the disclosure rules?
5. What is plea bargaining?
6. What is the burden of proof and who must prove it?

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trial-process.pptx

  • 2. Objectives  Explain what is meant by an adversarial system  Explain how offences are classified  Describe the criminal court system  Explain mode of trial  Explain sending for trial  Explain plea and case management hearings  Explain disclosure and plea bargaining  Assess whether plea bargaining should be allowed  Explain the trial process / procedure  Evaluate the system
  • 3. The Criminal Process Models of criminal justice systems  Herbert Packer  Crime control model  Due process model
  • 4. The Criminal Process Classification of Offences  Summary Offences  Offences triable either way  Indictable Offences
  • 5. Privy Council European Court of Human Rights Supreme Court Court of Appeal High Court (Queen’s Bench Division) Crown Court Magistrates’ Court Leapfrog procedure Appeal by way of case stated The Criminal Court System
  • 6. Mode of Trial  Triable either way offences – defendant can insist on jury trial, otherwise it is up to the Magistrates How do the magistrates make this decision?  Seriousness of the case  Their sentencing powers  Since 1996 – they must take into account the defendant’s plea  Criminal Justice Act 2003, Sched.3 – magistrates will be told of defendant’s prior convictions when deciding mode of trial.
  • 7. Sending for Trial Section 51 Crime and Disorder Act 1998 – ‘sending for trial’ hearing (old committal procedures abolished by the Criminal Justice Act 2003) ‘Sending for trial’ – indictable offences : 1. One appearance in Magistrates’ Court to determine e.g. funding of case, bail, use of exhibits and statements. 2. Magistrates provide statement of evidence, notice of the offence(s) and place of trial. 3. Then sent immediately to Crown Court.
  • 8.  Criminal Procedure Rules 2005 – introduced plea and case management hearings (replaced the old plea and directions hearings). Aim: to encourage early preparation of cases and reduce ‘cracked trials’:  hearings held in open court, defendant present, enter a plea – process known as the ‘arraignment ’  If guilty plea – proceed to sentence  If not guilty, prosecution and defence identify the key issues Plea & Case Management Hearings
  • 9. Disclosure Criminal Justice Act 2003 & Criminal Procedure & Investigations Act 1996:  Defence obliged to disclose all its evidence to the prosecution – including defences they intend to rely on and points of law they will raise  Defence must provide names and addresses of all witnesses including experts  Prosecution – continuing duty to disclose anything that might reasonably be capable of undermining the prosecution case or helps the defence case.
  • 10. Plea Bargaining Negotiations between the prosecution and defence e.g. defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge:  Pleas bargaining very common in US and now in the English system  R v Turner (1970) – judges not allowed to get involved in plea bargaining  R v Goodyear (2005) – defendant can request an indication from the judge as to likely sentence if they plead guilty Is plea bargaining in the interests of justice? What do you think?
  • 11. The Trial  Burden of proof – prosecution – beyond all reasonable doubt  Prosecution presents first  Defence then presents their case (unless submission of no case to answer is successful)  Youth Justice & Criminal Evidence Act 1999 – measures aimed at protecting vulnerable witnesses giving evidence  Each side makes closing speech  Crown Court ‒ judge sums up for the jury  ss.101-103 Criminal Justice Act 2003 & R v Hanson (2005) evidence of bad character and previous convictions
  • 12. The Criminal Process 1. Should evidence of bad character and previous convictions be admitted? 2. What are the arguments for and against the allowing of such evidence?
  • 13. Criticism of the System  Cracked and ineffective trials  Problems with disclosure – Criminal Procedure & Investigations Act 1996  Confession evidence and miscarriages of justice – the need for a corroboration rule  Role of expert witnesses – R v Clark (2003)  Treatment of victims and witnesses  Role of the media – contempt of court
  • 14. Reforms  Community Justice Centres  Government paper: Delivering simple, speedy, summary justice(2006) – ‘next day justice’
  • 15. Test Yourself 1. What is meant by an adversarial system? 2. How are criminal offences classified? 3. What is meant by mode of trial? 4. What are the disclosure rules? 5. What is plea bargaining? 6. What is the burden of proof and who must prove it?