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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Law
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What is an indictable offence and how is it brought to trial?

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Tutor-marked Assignment C 1. What is an indictable offence and how is it brought to trial? An indictable offence is an offence that may be tried on indictment, i.e.- by a jury in the Crown Court. Most serious offences i.e. murder and rape are indictable offences. A judge and jury in the Crown Court try indictable offences, and the magistrates sit only as examining justices to decide whether the prosecution has sufficient evidence to justify a trial. In a Practice Direction issued in May 1995, Lord Taylor CJ defined the four classes of offence triable on indictment as follows: > Class 1: Offences carrying the death penalty, misprision of treason, treason felony, murder, genocide, offences under s.1 of the Official Secrets Act 1911, and incitement, attempt or conspiracy to commit any of these. > Class 2: Manslaughter, infanticide, child destruction, abortion, rape, sexual intercourse or incest with a girl under 13, sedition, offences against s.1 of the Geneva Conventions Act 1957, mutiny, piracy, and incitement, attempt or conspiracy to commit any of these. > Class 3: All offences triable only on indictment except as listed in Class 1, 2 or 4. > Class 4: Wounding or causing grievous bodily harm with intent, robbery or assault with intent to rob, incitement or attempt to commit any of these, common law conspiracy, or conspiracy to commit any offence in Class 3 or 4, and all offences triable either way. Class 1 offences are normally tried by a High Court judge, Class 2 offences by a High Court judge or Circuit judge, Class 3 offences by a High Court judge, Circuit judge or Recorder, and Class 4 offences by a Circuit judge, Recorder or Assistant Recorder, though in each case there are provisions for cases to be tried by other named judges with the approval of the presiding judge of the circuit and/or the Lord Chief Justice. ...read more.


by the Unfair Terms in Contracts Regulations 1994. Directives are binding on Member States but not individuals, and cannot generally be relied upon in domestic courts. A Member State, which fails to implement, a Directive by the required date is in breach of its obligations and can be called to account by the Commission before the European Court of Justice. Where a Member State persistently fails to comply with a Directive, or with any other Community obligation, the European Court of Justice has power to impose a financial penalty. The process is a long one: > A formal letter from the Commission asking for an explanation of the breach, > A 'reasoned opinion' from the Commission rejecting the State's explanation (if any) > Proceedings before the European Court of Justice to establish liability for the breach, > A reasonable amount of time to comply with the courts decision, > A further formal letter asking for an explanation of non-compliance > A further 'reasoned opinion' and finally > A further proceeding before the European Court of Justice The amount of any penalty imposed depends on three factors: > The seriousness of the breach, including its effects on private and public interests and the urgency of the remedial action; > The Member State's ability to pay, as shown in a published table based on population and economic health; and > The duration of the infringement which is taken into account by setting the penalty at a fixed rate per day until compliance is secured. The first such penalty was imposed on Greece in July 2000; there are two other cases pending. Decisions- Decisions differ from Regulations in that they generally concern specific people or institutions rather than applying to people or institutions in an abstract sense. They can be addressed to Member States, to corporations or to individual citizens. 2. b) Examine the extent to which membership of the European Union has affected the sovereignty of Parliament, and how does the European Court of Justice seek to enforce its powers? ...read more.


as in litigation. The process is still essentially adversarial, with each side putting forwards its own arguments and evidence, there maybe oral hearings, but often the arguments are submitted in writing. An Arbitrator has discretion over the awarding of costs, but normally awards reasonable costs to the winner, The Arbitrator's decision is binding on the parties, and can be enforced as if it were a court judgement. There is no right of appeal, except to the High Court against 'serious irregularity' such as an excess of jurisdiction, a violation of natural justice, or a visible error of law. Mediation or Conciliation- Meditation is widespread in domestic disputes (e.g. divorce and custody cases), but operates in other fields too. An impartial third party acts as Mediator, not imposing any decision but encouraging the parties to discuss their differences and to reach their own agreed solution. Meditation is often much quicker than litigation and judges often encourage the parties to try Meditation before going to court as a last resort. Procedures vary, but typically there is an initial meeting at which each party puts forwards its position, followed by private meetings between the Mediator and each side in turn, followed by a second plenary meeting in which the Mediator helps the parties negotiate face-to-face. The whole process is confidential. The Mediator is a facilitator rather than a participant in the debate; the ultimate decision (which may be enforceable as an ordinary contract once it is reached) is the responsibility of the parties themselves. Conciliation is similar to mediation the main difference being that a conciliator takes a more pro-active role than a mediator. Alternative dispute resolution is preferable to ordinary court proceedings, as: > If the ordinary courts were used then there would be an increase in expense for everyone involved > Alternative dispute resolution is a lot quicker than the process of ordinary court proceedings > Cases can be decided on their individual merit as tribunals especially, are not bound by strict rules of precedent and of evidence as Courts are > Expertise can be used in particular problems Claire Spencer Page 1 09/05/2007 ...read more.

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