Law of Evidence - Assessed Work (No.2) by Simon Wolman R v Kearley Essentially this piece concerns whether the House of Lords correctly decided the case of R v Kearley1. The majority decided allowing the appeal, that the evidence concerned in this case was either irrelevant, and therefore inadmissible (unless part of the res gestae) or was inadmissible as hearsay in the form of an implied assertion. The facts of Kearley will be discussed, followed by an analysis of the decision by their Lordships, finally considering the issues of relevance and implied assertions in relation to the decision in Kearley. The facts of Kearley are well known. The disputed evidence was that the police officers whilst on the raid answered a number of callers to the flats, both by telephone and by visitors. The police officers testified that the callers were seeking to buy drugs in place of the original callers who were unwilling or unable to attend court. The appellant objected to the evidence on the ground that it was hearsay, but this was overruled. The Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal and certified a question to the House of Lords. Condensing the certified question, it was whether a person not called as a witness, for the purpose of not establishing the truth of any fact narrated by the words, but of inviting the jury to draw an inference from the fact that the words were spoken ? 2 On
Automatism is generally considered to be a state in which a person has no control over his or her actions.
Laura Westwood Bratty- "Automatism means an act which is done by the muscles without any control by the mind such as a spasm, a reflex action or a convulsion; or an act done by a person who is not conscious of what he is doing such as an act done whilst suffering from concussion or sleepwalking. Evaluate the accuracy of this statement by reference to the way in which the courts have recognised the defence of automatism. Automatism is generally considered to be a state in which a person has no control over his or her actions. It can then be argued that there is a lack of actus Reus, as the act is not voluntary, or that there is a lack of mens rea because the defendant is not conscious of what he is doing. In law there is a distinction between insane and non-insane automatism, which is very different to the medical meaning of the word. The defence is not available where the defendant's mind is functioning, albeit imperfectly, in Broome v Perkins (1987), D could remember nothing about a journey, he was able to exercise some voluntary control over his movements, he had not been acting in an entirely involuntary manner. This approach was recently followed by the Court of Appeal who insisted that automatism is only available where there is a total loss of voluntary control as suggested in Attorney-General's Reference (No 2 of 1992) where D had been put into a
Magistrates (a) Explain the role that magistrates play in the criminal justice system Magistrates are involved with many aspects of the criminal justice system and have lots of jobs to do. Criminal cases where the offence in summary or triable either way are heard by magistrates. Summary would be cases with minor offences such as speeding and drink driving, whilst triable either way are potentially more serious cases such as theft, burglary or ABH. Magistrates will listen to the case presented by the defence and prosecution, decide on the verdict and pass sentence. 3 magistrates will sit on every case. A magistrate has sentencing restrictions and can give a maximum of 6 months prison, £5000 fine or 240 hours community punishment order per offence. A clerk will sit in court with the magistrates and provide legal information for the lay magistrates. A clerk is a paid professional and must have 5 years experience of being a barrister or solicitor to get appointed. A clerk can give legal advice but can't be seen to influence the decision of the magistrates. In the case of R v Eccles a clerk was thought to have influenced the magistrates decision and a successful appeal was launched. All summary cases are heard by magistrates. A triable either way case can be heard in a magistrate's court or in the crown court if the offence is deemed too serious. A magistrate will conduct