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

Explain the role and functions of both the magistrate's court and the Crown Court.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explain the role and functions of both the magistrate's court and the Crown Court. The Criminal Justice System in England and Wales is a complex system of departments working together to deliver justice. It is comprised of several separate agencies which are responsible for various aspects of the work of maintaining law and order and the administration of justice. The Magistrates Court and the Crown Court are part of this system and they deal with the criminal cases brought before them by the Crown Prosecution Service, created in 1985. All cases initially go to the magistrate's court, for minor crimes the case is dealt with by summary trial, for more serious indictable offences the magistrates decide if there is a case to answer and then send it to Crown Court, where it is tried by a High Court judge with a jury. When a person is charged with an offence the police may hold them in custody until they can be brought before a magistrate. If the offence is minor and the offender is likely to appear in court if required they are bailed or a summons is issued which instructs the accused to appear at a named magistrate's court at a particular time. ...read more.

Middle

It is still classified as a conviction. * Conditional discharge The offender must not commit another offence within a specified time. If another offence is committed the defendant can be sentenced for the original offence. * Deferred sentence Sentencing is delayed for up to six months, after which the case is re-assessed with regard to the conduct of the offender in that time. * Binding over The court can order the offender to keep the peace and to be of good behaviour in the future. Sureties may be attached to the order which can be forfeited if the convicted fails to keep the peace, even if no actual offence is committed. * Probation order The offender is allowed to remain in the community, under supervision. Conditions may be imposed such as remaining at a particular residence, or psychiatric treatment. If any conditions are breached the offender can be sentenced for the original offence. * Fine This is the most common sentence used by magistrate's courts. Non-payment can be punished by imprisonment even if the offence did not carry a prison sentence. * Immediate imprisonment The convicted is taken to prison immediately. * Suspended imprisonment A sentence of imprisonment is imposed but suspended for one to two years, to take effect only if the person is convicted within that time of an offence punishable by imprisonment. ...read more.

Conclusion

The witnesses can be cross-examined by the defence. The defence then presents its own case in return and calls its own witnesses who are liable to be cross examined by the prosecution. The accused person can be called by the defence but is under no obligation to give evidence. The prosecution then makes its closing remarks, followed by the defence. Then the judge 'sums up' and reminds the jury of the most important parts of the evidence for and against the accused. If the jury find the defendant 'not guilty', he is acquitted. If he is found 'guilty' the judge proceeds to sentence him. The sentences available to the High Court judge are the same as to the magistrate but much more extensive, including life imprisonment and death. (Although the death penalty has been abolished for murder, it is still, theoretically, possible in cases of treason and piracy.) The far most common sentence handed out at Crown Court is immediate imprisonment; this is reflective of the seriousness of the crimes that are tried there. The role of both courts in society is to deliver justice, and by way of sentencing, protect the public from dangerous citizens and dangerous behaviour. It is important for our communities that justice is seen to be done, both for our peace of mind and as a deterrent for anyone tempted to fall foul of the law. ...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

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

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

    4 star(s)

    A study by Hedderman and Moxan (1992) supports this theory. They interviewed 282 defendants who had been convicted in Crown Court. They stated that a defendant's choice to plead guilty was heavily based on the likelihood of acquittal and the advantages of a lighter sentence.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Observation in Magistrate Courts

    3 star(s)

    Also to 'refresh the justices memory as to any matter of evidence and to draw attention to any issues involved in the matters before the court' (Watkins 1995(Lord Lane 1981)). The Ushers job involves the keeping of a smooth running court, and to provide the primary level of guest assistance in the seating area (bbc.co.uk).

  1. Outline the factors that influence sentencing decisions of criminal courts in England and Wales ...

    children, and her husband was available to support her, the courts may be more lenient. There has been considerable concern about whether ethnicity influences the way people are dealt with in the criminal justice system. In one study to estimate the size of any race effect in sentencing, Hood, 1992 (Ashworth, 1997; cited in Maguire, Morgan and Reiner, 1997, p.

  2. The aim of this project is to explore and analyse the role of the ...

    Similarly, the medical examination of the victims of rape should be done in an atmosphere where the victim is made to relax and to actively participate and cooperate during medical examination of the intimate parts of the body. Wherever possible female judges and public prosecutors should preside over courts where

  1. At common law, the prosecution were generally prohibited from mentioning the accused's bad character ...

    the defendant and prosecution' to which the bad character evidence is relevant. These matters encompass the facts in issue revealed in the offence charged - whether the accused did the act with the necessary mental element and whether any defence applied?

  2. Law of Rape

    he became aware the complainant was not consenting after sexual intercourse had commenced. The principle was given fuller consideration by the Court of Appeal in R. v. Cooper and Schaub40, it was emphasised that penetration is a continuing act and that although the initial penetration may have been with consent,

  1. critically evaluate the role of the ICC

    Further problems which limit the effectiveness of the ICC will be discussed, in detail, later on in the essay. The Appeals process is dealt with by the Appeals Chamber which consists of five judges18. During the Pre-Trial and Trial intervals, the Prosecutor or any relevant State may appeal the decisions made by the Chamber19.

  2. Justifying Punishment

    On the other hand, the prison population could be substantially reduced without creating a massive crime wave: if the numbers in prison were cut by 40 per cent, this could be expected to lead to an increase in criminal convictions of only 1.6 per cent (Brody and Tarling, 1980).

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