Topic 7 The courts system criminal courts Criminal

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Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Criminal courts Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Criminal courts

Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Classifications of crime There are three types Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Classifications of crime There are three types of criminal offence: • summary offences • triable-either-way offences • indictable offences

Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Summary offences are the least serious, ‘petty’ Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Summary offences are the least serious, ‘petty’ crimes, e. g. assault. They are triable summarily at the Magistrates’ Court.

Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Triable-either-way offences, such as theft, may be Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Triable-either-way offences, such as theft, may be tried at the Magistrates’ Court or at the Crown Court, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Indictable offences, e. g. murder, must be Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Indictable offences, e. g. murder, must be tried at the Crown Court. They are the most serious offences.

Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Pre-trial procedure • bail • mode of Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Pre-trial procedure • bail • mode of trial • committal

Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Bail When a person charged with a Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Bail When a person charged with a criminal offence attends the Magistrates’ Court for the first time, the issue of bail is considered. If the magistrates allow the defendant out on bail, it means that the person can go home until the date of his or her next hearing. If the magistrates think it would be better to keep the defendant in prison until his or her next hearing, they will remand the defendant in custody.

Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Bail (2) Every defendant has the right Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Bail (2) Every defendant has the right to bail, with the exception of someone who commits an either-way or indictable offence while on bail. This rule is governed by s. 4 of the Bail Act 1976.

Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Criminal courts • Magistrates’ Court • Crown Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Criminal courts • Magistrates’ Court • Crown Court • Court of Appeal • House of Lords

Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Magistrates’ Court All criminal cases start in Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Magistrates’ Court All criminal cases start in the Magistrates’ Court. These courts deal with preliminary matters such as bail applications and legal aid. They have the power to try all summary offences and may try either-way offences if the defendant chooses to have the case heard in the Magistrates’ Court. The magistrates have the power to sentence a defendant up to 12 months in prison.

Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Crown Court The Crown Court tries indictable Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Crown Court The Crown Court tries indictable offences and either-way offences if the defendant has requested that his or her trial be held at the Crown Court. If the defendant pleads guilty, the judge alone will pass sentence. If the defendant pleads not guilty, a jury will try the case, and if found guilty, a judge will impose a sentence.

Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Court of Appeal The prosecution may appeal Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts Court of Appeal The prosecution may appeal to the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal if it believes that a defendant has received a lenient sentence, or that he or she was wrongly acquitted, so that the law is changed for the future. The defence may appeal if it believes the sentence was too harsh (without permission), or against conviction either on a point of law or fact (with permission).

Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts House of Lords The House of Lords Topic 7 The courts system: criminal courts House of Lords The House of Lords is the highest appeal court in England Wales. It only hears appeals with leave (permission granted by the Court of Appeal or the House of Lords) on a point of law of general public importance.




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