Untied Kingdom Essay Research Paper UNITED KINGDOMCRIMINAL

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Untied Kingdom Essay, Research Paper UNITED KINGDOM CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM In the trial process in England and Wales is adversarial. In the magistrates’ courts, magistrates determine guilt or innocence. In the Crown Court, a jury of twelve ordinary citizens will decide.. The prosecution must prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecutor will make his case first by calling and examining witnesses. These are then cross-examined by the defence. The defence is not obliged to call evidence and the defendant is not a compellable witness. Any witnesses called by the defence may be cross-examined by the prosecution. The court also has the power to call any witness, other than the defendant. Generally, evidence is oral and given under oath to the court by the witness

concerned. However, documentary evidence is admissible in certain circumstances. Subject to exclusionary rules, all evidence which is sufficiently relevant to the facts or issue is admissible. After the prosecution and defence closing speeches in the Crown Court, the judge will give the jury directions on the law and a summary of the evidence. He will then invite the jury to retire and to reach a unanimous verdict. The jury can be asked to give a majority verdict (either 10-2 or 11-1) if they have considered the verdict for a reasonable time and cannot come to a unanimous decision. The jury can be discharged from giving a verdict if they are unable to reach a majority decision. In these circumstances, the prosecution has discretion to seek a re-trial. F1 MAGISTRATES COURTS

PROCEEDINGS The procedure in the magistrates’ court is primarily governed by the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980. Commencement Proceedings are either commenced by arrest, charge and production to the court, either on bail or in custody, or by the laying of an information followed by the issue of a summons or a warrant. The information sets out details of the offence; where the defendant is charged by the police the charge sheet forms the information. If the defendant is held in custody he/she must appear before the magistrates’ court as soon as practicable and in any event at the first sitting after being charged (thereafter he can be remanded for up to four weeks at a time before attending court again). A defendant may be released on bail. The granting of bail is governed by

the Bail Act 1976 and the Bail (Amendment) Act 1993. Court Procedure – Summary Offences. The defendant is asked if he pleads guilty or not guilty. If he pleads guilty the case proceeds to sentence. If he pleads not guilty the case is adjourned – in some courts directly to a trial date, in others firstly to a pre-trial review and then to the trial date. The procedure to be followed at a summary trial is set out in rule 13 Magistrates’ Courts Rules 1981 i.e. prosecutor addresses court, prosecution evidence is heard then defence evidence and then accused may address the court. The defendant is not obliged to disclose his defence before trial but can voluntarily produce a defence statement. Court Procedure – Either Way Offences. The defendant is asked whether he would plead

guilty or not guilty if the offence were to proceed to trial. If he indicates a guilty plea the court will proceed to sentence or commit to the Crown Court for sentence. If the defendant indicates he would plead not guilty or fails to indicate what his plea would be the court proceeds to determine mode of trial. The prosecution and defence make representations as to which appears more suitable, summary trial or trial on indictment. The court decide which mode of trial appears more suitable, and if summary trial appears more suitable the defendant is asked if he consents to summary trial or wishes to be tried by jury. If he consents to summary trial the court proceeds as at 2 above, if he does not consent the court proceeds as examining justices and the case is adjourned for