• 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

    The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

    4 star(s)

    time to review a case thus resulting in a weak case presented in court. This can be an issue as one is to blame the other for the poor outcome. The CPS has no say of the dates lined up for the cases to be heard both in the magistrate and crown courts.

  2. 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.

  1. 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).

  2. A victim impact statement in South Africa and in the USA is submitted to ...

    of the victim dying, the victim's next of kin is able to submit a Victim Impact Statement. 2.2 Definition of a Victim Impact Statement, America The definition of victim impact statement in the USA according to the Women's Justice Network "A written statement that the victim can prepare after the accused has been found guilty" (www.owjn.org/info/glossar4.htm).

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

    The House of Lords held that section 27 must be read alongside section 73(2) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 which states that where a conviction is admissible in evidence, the certificate shall give 'the substance and effect (omitting the formal parts)

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

    amongst other things, recommended that as far as practicable "victims should be kept informed of the progress and outcome of cases, including decisions not to prosecute and, in some cases, the results of bail applications or successful appeals" by the accused46.

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

    Concerns about the treatment of both unemployed and white-collar offenders raise issues of how far socio-economic status affects sentencing decisions. Women are generally assumed to be given a more lenient sentence than men are. A view often attributed to a 'chivalrous' attitude on the part of judges, who may assume

  2. The Criminal Justice Act 1988, s.39 provides that assault is a summary offence with ...

    was applied but after the decision in Caldwell 1981 it was for a short while assumed that it would be sufficient to establish a more objective type of recklessness in all criminal offences where recklessness was part of the mens rea.

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