• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe the process by which it is decided where a trial will take place. [18 marks]

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Describe the process by which it is decided where a trial will take place. [18] The purpose of a pre-trial procedure is to allow the Magistrates Court to decide where a trial will take place. The most important factors which influence this decision are the seriousness of D’s crime and his plea. The seriousness of a crime can be assessed by considering the type of offence with which D is charged. A summary offence is triable only in the Magistrates Court in the presence of either three lay magistrates and a legal advisor, or one district judge. Crimes such as common assault and common battery would be categorised as summary offences which carry a maximum of a 6 month custodial sentence or maximum fine of £5,000 (or £20,000 for a business). An indictable offence is one which can only be tried in the Crown Court and includes offences such as rape, manslaughter and robbery. A Crown Court judge can impose up to the statutory maximum for any offence, or impose an unlimited sentence at his discretion for common law offences. For example, the maximum sentence for statutory theft is 7 years under the Theft Act 1968. ...read more.

Middle

When a Magistrates Court decides whether to accept jurisdiction, they will take into account things such as the nature of the case, the seriousness of the offence, whether their sentencing powers are sufficient, and under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 they can consider D’s previous convictions. D can refuse a summary trial at the Magistrates Court and instead opt for a trial by jury in the Crown Court instead. The Magistrates Court may completely refuse to accept jurisdiction if D’s charge is gang related or derives from a breach of peace. Furthermore, if the Director of Public Prosecutions or the Attorney General wishes to have the case tried in the Crown Court, D has no choice but to adhere. Whilst increasingly uncommon, a mode of trial hearing becomes ineffective if D pursues a cracked trial, whereby D changes his plea ‘at the doors of the court’ Tim has been charged with criminal damage to the value of £10,000 at a children’s playground. Discuss what Tim would want to consider in deciding which court his case will be heard in. [12] Tim potentially has a choice of which court he wants his case to be heard at because criminal damage is a triable either way offence. ...read more.

Conclusion

In a Magistrates Court there would be either 3 lay magistrates and a legal advisor, or one district judge. In comparison, in the Crown Court there is much better legal representation since a fully qualified judge decides all matters of law, interpretation and what would be Tim?s ultimate sentence. In a jury there are 12 lay people who decide on matters of fact and so this could work in Tim?s favour as they may argue his case better than in the Magistrates Court. However, this can be expensive (if Tim is convicted he may have to pay part of the cost of his trial) and time consuming (some Crown Court trials can take up to 18 months), and it could also lead to a more severe sentence. This is because the Crown Court have unlimited powers unless there is a maximum in the statute, which would be 10 years in Tim?s case for criminal damage. To conclude, Tim should opt for the Magistrates Court to hear his case over the Crown Court because whilst he has less legal representation and is more likely to be convicted, the Magistrates Court powers would give him a much more lenient sentence for the nature of his crime in comparison to what the Crown Court could sentence him to. Sasha Groves ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Machinery of Justice section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Machinery of Justice essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    ‘Trial by jury is outdated, expensive and ineffective in ensuring justice’ Analyse arguments for ...

    4 star(s)

    Researching what goes on in the jury room is another topic which came up in both the Runciman Commission and the Auld Report. Runciman felt that provision should be made in order to research the conduct of jury deliberations in order to ensure the decision was made in a just

  2. POLICE POWERS

    The Code of Practice elaborates on this requirement. There must be some concrete basis for the officer's belief, related to you personally, which can be considered and evaluated by an objective third person. Mere suspicion based on hunch or instinct might justify observation but cannot justify a search.

  1. What justification was there for Socrates' trial, verdict and death sentence?

    Another reason that this charge is unfair is because Religious cults from other countries were widely tolerated inside Athens, and yet they charged Socrates for believing in a god, which was foreign to society. Socrates believed he would loose the case by 'rumours,' of those who remembered old times and

  2. Outline the rights of a defendant to legal representation and bail

    Other sources of advice include the Internet, which is now more advanced than ever offering many sources of information and advice for anyone. There are many textbooks available, which offer advice, although these, if old, are sometimes inaccurate and so do not offer the best advice.

  1. Is any act of statutory interpretation a arbitrary choice by a judge?

    Throughout the medieval era, social justice was hence upheld mainly by the judges and common law. There was statute law, albeit few and of meagre significance. As Heydon's Case (1584) records, statute law at that time constituted mainly of the King's regulations, and were easily understood to be intended to

  2. Describe trial by jury within the English legal system. How effective is trial by ...

    Once the list of potential jurors is acknowledged, both the prosecution and the defence have the right to see that list. Jury vetting is used to check that jurors are suitable for the case. Routine police checks are made on prospective jurors to eliminate those disqualified.

  1. What Impact will Formalising Plea Bargaining have on Justice and Equality in the English ...

    Judges have to be very cautious in playing any role in plea arrangements; although as a result of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 must now indicate in court if a reduction in sentence has been granted to a defendant.

  2. Describe with the aid of examples, the authorities, representative bodies or persons that exercise ...

    Our First Hall, Civil Court has jurisdiction to order the winding up of any company registered under the Companies Act. An application to the Court to order the winding up of a company may be presented by: * the Company or its Directors * any Debenture Holder * any one

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work