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

Criminal Justice System of Great Britain

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Role of the Trial The role of the judicial system is to protect the innocent, to pass judgement and to serve an appropriate form of punishment on convicted felons. This may include receiving a custodial sentence, serving a specified amount of community service or incurring a disqualification or penalty fine. All criminal cases in the UK initially commence in the same system. However the severity and details of the offence will affect the following: which court the accused may be trialled and sentenced in, the criminal proceedings and the level of punishment received. This essay will examine the differing categories of offence and describe the role of the trial to provide a basic overview of the Crown and Magistrates court systems of Great Britain. The criminal court system has two rankings. The lower is the Magistrates' Court and the higher ranking is the Crown Court. The Youth Court established in 1992 is a separate less formal division of the Magistrates' Court. It was set up for the trial and punishment of minors aged between ten and seventeen years old. Young offenders too young to be trialled as adults (unless they are being tried alongside an adult) and old enough to know right from wrong are forced to face the consequences of their actions. ...read more.

Middle

A trial held by the Crown Court relies on a panel of Jurors to deliver a verdict on an accused persons innocence or guilt. The principle of 'adversarial justice' is central to the judicial system. This means that the jury must be convinced 'beyond reasonable doubt' that the defendant is guilty of committing the crime they have been accused of. The court proceedings will be overseen by a Judge who will support the Jury and make sure that the trial is conducted appropriately. Depending on the type of trial for example, civil versus criminal or the severity and complexities of a particular case there are three types of judge that may be present in court. The role of the judge is to oversee entire proceedings and ensure a fair trial. They must be impartial and when necessary decide the admissibility of evidence and settle disputes between counsels. All judges must be a legal professional with a minimum of ten years experience. The High Court Judge is the most senior position and can deal with even the most severe offences such as murder. Circuit Judges and Recorders and Assistant Recorders share the same jurisdiction and can try all criminal offences except murder. The only notable difference between the two is that while recorders are employed part-time circuit judges are employed fulltime. ...read more.

Conclusion

They are required to provide factual information beyond the knowledge of laypersons and if requested may provide specialist opinion within their area of expertise. After all the evidence has been heard, both counsels will make a closing speech. The judge will present a summary of the facts and evidence to the jury and remind them of the legalities concerning the case. Following this the jurors will retire for a period to consider the evidence presented. Depending on the details of the case they will make an impartial decision regarding the accused person/s guilt or innocence. For a jury to successfully return a verdict there must be a majority agreement between ten of the twelve people present. If this is not possible then a close majority decision can be accepted at the judge's discretion. Once the jury has reached a verdict they will be asked to state it aloud. The judge has no role when deciding the verdict but he must serve justice either by passing a sentence or acquitting the defendant as appropriate. In essence, this essay has provided an overview of the criminal justice process. It has offered an insight into the type of offences that may be trialled in both the Magistrates' Court and the Crown Court and has explored the various roles that ordinary members of the public and legal professionals play within the judicial system of Great Britain. . ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Criminal law section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

I think this essay is very good. It covers the key topics well, and in some depth.

4 Stars.

Marked by teacher Edward Smith 05/09/2013

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 University Degree Criminal law essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Criminal Law Omissions. In the English legal system there is generally no liability ...

    4 star(s)

    Such as Professor Ashworth who believed in the social responsibility view15. The final exception in which one will have a duty to act is a statutory duty, a classic example in the book criminal directions16, which illustrates the point is if you collide into another vehicle, you would be under

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Criminal Justice, Miscarriages of justice

    4 star(s)

    Downing had spent his adulthood in prison. Miscarriages of justice are primarily the conviction and punishment of a person for a crime they did not commit. Most criminal justice systems have some means to overturn, or 'quash', a wrongful conviction, but this is often hard to achieve.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Why Do The Vast Majority Of Defendants Plead Guilty In Court?

    4 star(s)

    About two-thirds stated that they pleaded guilty because they had committed the offence. In fact 70% of the people interviewed had confessed their guilt to the police from the start. (Ashworth, 1994). A Crown Court survey in the early 1990's found that 65% of cases had guilty pleas, from these

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Critically consider all arguments concerning spousal compellability and conclude whether or not it ...

    4 star(s)

    R v Pearce19 is the relevant authority in this area. The case concerned whether the section 80 privilege should be extended to include those in the position of a spouse. The Court of Appeal (CoA) rejected the argument that failing to extend the privilege would be in breach of article

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Viscount Sankey's Golden Thread Speech

    3 star(s)

    Highlighting flaws within Foster's Law, such as Sir Michael Foster should 'be regarded as a text-book writer, for he did not lay down the doctrine n any case before him, but in an article.' This statement emphasises how Foster's Law may be unsound to apply to cases as it is not taken from earlier case law authority.

  2. problem question on murder

    Boris was provoked by Ali's aggressive manner. Boris's defense will need evidence of his provocation (words or action), and that he had sudden and temporary loss of self control (subjective test) and the jury must be satisfied that the reasonable person would have acted (objective test)

  1. Critically assess the impact of the way in which media and politicians represented the ...

    in an adult courtroom it was not until later it was contested. BY the year 2000 lord Woolf decided the boys should be considered for immediate parole, he commented on his fear that the boys would be exposed to a corrosive atmosphere if they went to a young offenders institute.

  2. After Woollin, the law of Intention remains unclear, but nonetheless works in a satisfactory ...

    If there were a definition of intention, that was accepted by the courts and is morally and socially acceptable, then this would create consistency and certainty within the law. It can be widely accepted that the law of intention is one that is far from being defined, and shows no sign of being defined in the near future.

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