"What are the advantages and disadvantages of electing for a Summary trial as opposed to trail by jury?"
"What are the advantages and disadvantages of electing for a Summary trial as opposed to trail by jury?" There are many advantages to electing for a summary trial as opposed to trail by jury. One advantage of electing for a summary trial is that magistrates know more about their local area as they are members of the local community appointed by the Lord Chancellor. This means that their views could be more conclusive and would most likely consider the needs of the community and the major problems it faces. On the other hand, magistrates' courts deal with smaller incidents and magistrates may have a more 'conviction-minded' attitude as they wish to look out for their local community. As the magistrates court represents the local community then if the defendant has been accused of committing a crime in his or her local area then the trial would be held in the local magistrate's court and this could lead to embarrassment for the defendant and the defendant being segregated form the local community. Where as if the trial was held at the crown court it would be further from home and the defendant would be less likely that the defendant would be in the public eye. Magistrates Courts are faster in finishing cases as opposed to Crown Courts, which may take up to several months and this is an advantage electing for a summary trail as it often avoids long periods on bail or in
In order to decide whether or not trial by jury should or should not be abolished, we need to know what it is that we are dealing with and what viable alternative or alternatives there are to it.
In order to decide whether or not trial by jury should or should not be abolished, we need to know what it is that we are dealing with and what viable alternative or alternatives there are to it. I will take a brief look at the history of the jury trial. I will examine the function of the jury; look at what is good and bad about the jury system. Finally I will examine the proposed alternatives to trial by jury that are currently in fashion. The jury system first arrived in Britain after the Norman Conquest. The earliest jury was a body of neighbours summoned by a public officer to give oath as answer to some question1. The sworn inquest was used to enable the recognition on oath of a number of upstanding members of the community to testify to facts which they had personal knowledge. Those called were not judges of fact, but witnesses. By the end of the twelfth century, a person accused of a crime could, on payment obtain the right to obtain a trial by jury. (I will return to this point later when I look at the government's proposals to remove the right to elect jury trial in either way offences) When Pope Innocent III abolished trial by ordeal in 1215 and compurgation (the accused sought to clear himself by his own oath backed up by the oaths of friends and neighbours, who testified to his character rather than to the facts) fell from favour a need arose to find a new
AS Law Student Answers (Module 2568: Machinery of Justice) POLICE POWERS Police officers on patrol believe that a man that they see, Shane, is a suspect wanted for burglary. Outline the powers of the police to stop and search and if necessary to arrest the man. The police have the power to stop and search both people and vehicles in a public place under sections 1 to 7 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). They can only do this if they have reasonable grounds for suspecting Shane of carrying some stolen goods or prohibited articles like drugs or offensive weapons. In Shane's case this can also include articles for use in connection with burglary or theft. However, there are safeguards built in to ensure no one is being picked on or harassed in any way. The police must give their name and station and the reason for the search, otherwise it is unlawful as was shown in Osman 1999 where Mr Osman was found not guilty of assaulting an officer because the officer did not give a reason for the search. Since Shane is on the street, only his outer clothing can be searched and the police must make a written report as soon as possible after the search. Code of Practice A states that the police must not act just because of a person's characteristics, such as their race, hairstyle or manner of dress. Even if Shane had previous convictions for possessing an
The doctrine of precedent is based on the need for certainty in the law. It means that lawyers can properly advise their clients on the basis that like cases will be treated alike, rather than judges making their own random decisions which nobody could predict. This helps people plan their affairs. According to Lord Denning, 'It is the foundation of our system of case law'. However, Denning was 'against is its too rigid application - a rigidity which insists that a bad precedent must necessarily be followed'. It is the doctrine's rigidity that can prevent developments to meet the changing needs of society. However, this was recognised in the House of Lords 1996 Practice Statement. In addition, judges in the lower courts are adept at avoiding the doctrine's rigidity. A judge may distinguish the awkward precedent on its facts - arguing that the facts of the case under consideration are different in some important way from those of the previous case and therefore the rule does not apply. A precedent may be distinguished on a point of law; by arguing that the legal question answered by the precedent is not the same as that asked in the instant case. Courts may distinguish a precedent by stating that the precedent has been superseded by more recent decisions, and is therefore outdated. Courts may give the precedent a very narrow ratio decidendi or argue that the precedent
There are about over 30,000 sitting as part-time judges in the Magistrates Court. They sit to hear cases as a bench of two or three, while a single magistrate could issue search warrants and arrest warrants. There are also District Judges (formerly Stipendiary Magistrates) who are qualified lawyers and sit on their own to deal with the cases. The history of magistrates goes back to the 12th Century and they have been a very important part of the criminal justice system. The important things to remember is that magistrates are lay people i.e. the majority are legally unqualified, must be between the ages of 18 and 65 and generally be of good character and judgement. Lay magistrates do not have to have any qualifications in law. There are however, some requirements as to their character, in that they must be suitable in character, integrity & understanding for the work they have to perform. Lay magistrates must live within the commission area of the court or within fifteen miles of the boundary of that area. They will have to give a commitment that they will sit in a court a minimum of 26 times per year and that they will do the necessary training. Approximately, 500 new magistrates are appointed each year. People in the community who want to become lay magistrates can also reply to advertisements or otherwise be selected after a recommendation because of their contribution to
History of Witchcraft Early-European Witchcraft The earliest historical records of witchcraft in Europe [such as law codes, poems, heroic tales] reveal that it was divided into two distinct traditions of magical belief. In the far north, from Iceland eastward to the Baltic lands and Russia, magic was the preserve of specialists, the shamans, who drummed, danced, and chanted their way into trances in which their spirits left their bodies to accomplish the necessary work. Every tribe or clan needed to have one, and misfortune was blamed on hostile shamans. Most were male, but a female shaman was acceptable if no man with the necessary gift was available. Across the rest of Europe, among the Greeks, Romans, Germans, and Celts alike, a different system prevailed. Men were regarded as able to learn magic, and to read omens, explain unusual events, and work sorcery. Women, by contrast, were treated as repositories of powerful and primeval natural magic. They were brought in to give advice, as seers or prophets, whenever normal social structures broke down. They also featured prominently as natural healers; conversely, they were especially feared for their ability to use that innate power for evil purposes. Hence to most ancient Europeans witches were usually female. Hence, also, the pagan peoples of Europe regularly executed people for the alleged crime of witchcraft. This
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF NATIVE TITLE The debate about native title issues has tended to see issues from idealistic perspectives ignoring the practical realities that native title poses to governments, industry and indigenous people. The implementation of the Native Title is an appropriate and significant aspect of Australia's common and statute law, which effectively strives to develop a fair outcome for all Australian citizens. The Native Title Act 1993, like the court Mabo decision in 1992, transforms the ways in, which indigenous ownership of land may be formally recognised and incorporated within Australian legal and property regimes. The process of implementation, however, raises a number of crucial issues of concern to native title claimants and to other interested parties. These issues will need to be settled in court however, despite the many disputes between opposing stakeholders, the Australian Native Title effectively reaches the best and fairest possible outcomes for all Australian citizens. The decision of the Mabo case in 1992 resulted in the adoption of the Australian Native Title, which recognises the traditional connection aboriginals have with the land and gives them the right to a say in the development and use of certain sites. There was a great lead up to the establishment of the native title, which began when the Europeans invaded Australia, claiming the
What is judicial precedent? What are the main principles that are applied in judicial precedent? Are the different court structure being bound by the decision of others higher courts? To what extend binding precedent ensures the existence of both certainty and flexibility in common law? What are the other advantages and disadvantages that contribute to the doctrine of binding precedent? The doctrine of binding precedent or stare decisis, refers to the fact that, the decision of a higher court will be binding on a court lower than its hierachy. Judicial precedent can be applied on cases and to be treated similiarly when the material facts of the cases are identical. There are two main principles that are involved in judicial precedent, there are ratio decidendi and the obiter dictum. Ratio decidendi is a principle of law on which the court reaches its decision. The ratio decidendi of a case may be understood as the statement of the law applied in deciding the legal problem raised by the concrete facts of the case. The ratio of a case is binding on lower courts but may not be cited as persuasive authority in later cases. The second principle is the obiter dictum. It is a statement made by the judge that is not an essential part of the ratio decidendi. It is most referred that something said by the way. Obiter dicta a statements do not form part of the binding precedent, but
In relation to the offence of murder discuss the suggestion that the law is in urgent need of reform
In relation to the offence of murder discuss the suggestion that the law is in urgent need of reform The definition of murder is derived from the explanation by Sir Edward Coke who expressed "Murder is when a (person)...unlawfully killeth..any reasonable creature in rerum natura under the Queen's peace, with malice aforethought.." - this is essentially; the unlawful killing of a human being. However, the conundrum this provides is the actus reus of murder; in that there is no distinction of the severity or gravity of the crime. This definition raises several points that require further consideration, as there are many anomalies and thought concepts that are now out dated. Coke's definition of murder used to provide that the death of the victim had to occur within a year and a day of the actus reus; so when this definition was originated the "year and a day rule" was sufficient, however with modern technology life may be maintained for longer, so already this anomaly has been reformed under the Law Reform Act (Year and a Day Rule) 1996 as the time frame was no longer relevant. There is also no distinction for mercy killing especially of those in a vegetative state. The definition of a "person" is open to interpretation, as a foetus is not considered a "person", so if death is caused before the child has an existence independent of its mother, there can be no murder. However
Judicial precedent. . Give another name for judicial precedent. Case law is another name for judicial precedent. 2. What is judicial precedent? Preceding cases/trials setting new legal principals for cases to follow and developing them along the way. 3. Name two major developments which assisted development of judicial precedent. The judicature acts 1873-75 (laid down modern hierarchy of courts) and the development of an efficient system of law reporting (creation of the council of law reporting - 1865). 4. What is Res Judicate? The judge's decision. 5. What is the ratio decidendi? The reason for the judges decision 6. What is obiter dicta? Matters spoken by the way. 7. When a legal principal is established, what is it known as? It is known as precedent. 8. What is binding precedent? Precedent that binds courts below it. I.e. the House of Lords binds the Court of Appeal, the Court of Appeal binds the Divisional Court etc. 9. What is persuasive precedent? Decisions not binding on the lower courts but may strongly influence their decisions and use them as support. 0. Explain how the system of binding precedent works in relation to the following courts; (The House of Lords; its decisions are binding on all lower courts, in the 20th century it had regarded itself as bound by its own decisions until the 1966 practice statement which allows them to depart from their