Trial on Indictment in the Crown Court

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					English Legal System

Trial on Indictment in the Crown
              Court
                            Aims
•    The aims are this lecture are to:

1.   Look at the history of the Crown Court and the allocation of
     business to the Court for trial on indictment;
2.   Consider which judges try which cases in the Crown Court
     and how they are allocated;
3.   Revise rights of audience in the Crown Court;
4.   Consider what an indictment is and the rules relating to the
     drafting of indictments;
5.   Examine the procedure for managing cases in the Crown
     Court
6.   Examine stages of a trial in the Crown Court.
         Learning outcomes
•    By the end of this lecture you should be able to:

1.   Outline the history of the Crown Court and the
     allocation of business to different judges within the
     Court;
2.   State who has rights of audience in the Crown
     Court;
3.   Describe the purpose and rules relating to the
     drafting of indictments in the Crown Court;
4.   Outline the main steps in the procedure of
     managing cases in the Crown Court;
5.   Describe the conduct of a trial on indictment.
History of the Crown Court
• Created by the Courts Act 1971 to
  replace the ancient courts of assize and
  quarter sessions

• It is part of the Supreme Court of
  England and Wales by virtue of the
  Supreme Court Act 1981
  Jurisdiction of the Crown
            Court
• Trial on Indictment – exclusive
  jurisdiction
• Committals for sentence
• Appeals from the Magistrates against
  conviction or sentence
• Miscellaneous civil matters (e.g.
  licensing appeals and care orders from
  the youth courts)
    Who sits in the Crown
           Court?
• High Court or Red Judges

• Circuit Judges

• Recorders

• Deputy Circuit Judges
     How is the work divided
      between the judges?
•    Offences are categorized according to
     class
1.   Treason and Murder – High Ct Judge
2.   Manslaughter and Rape – High Court J
3.   Indictable offences other than above –
     Circuit J
4.   Triable either way – Circuit J/Recorder
  Rights of Audience in the
        Crown Court
• Barristers

• Solicitors who have undertaken Law
  Society training and been granted
  ‘higher rights’

• Litigants in Person
          The Indictment
• Like the information it forms the basis of
  the charge that will be read to the
  Defendant at the start of the trial

• Unlike an information it is subject to
  detailed rules contained in the
  Indictments Act 1915 and the Indictment
  Rules 1971
   Indictments in Detail

• The indictment is divided into counts

• There is the rule against duplicity

• Joinder of Counts

• Joinder of Defendants
    Preparing for trial in the
         Crown Court
•    Reforms have been introduced in recent
     years with the aim of making the
     preparation for trial in the Crown Court more
     efficient
•    There are three main kinds of hearings:

•    Plea and Directions Hearings

•    Pre-trial Hearings

•    Preparatory Hearings
       Plea and Directions
            Hearings
• Introduced by a Practice Direction in 1995

• Defence must supply a full list of prosecution
  witnesses they require to attend at trial

• Both sides should present a summary of the
  issues on which directions are sought
   Other Types of Pre-trial
  Hearings in the Crown Ct
• Pre-trial rulings – formal rulings that are
  not irreversible but cannot automatically
  be re-considered

• Preparatory Hearings – these are for
  long and complex trials
            Arraignment
•   This is the process of putting the
    counts in the indictment to the
    accused one by one asking him
    whether he pleads guilty or not guilty

•   Plea of not guilty puts the entire
    Prosecution case in issue
• If a Plea of Not Guilty the next step is
  normally to empanel a jury

• However, should be aware that the
  prosecution may not wish to proceed if
  the accused has pleaded guilty to some
  counts but not others
• The Defendant should make his plea of
  guilty personally, counsel should not do
  so on his behalf

• Williams [1978] QB 373
  Refusal and Incapacity to
           Plead
• Muteness – malice/by visitation of God

• Unfit to plead – where D’s intellect is
  defective, so that he cannot
  comprehend the course of the
  proceedings so as to make a proper
  defence
      Autrefois Acquit or
       Autrefois Convict
• Should not be tried twice for the same
  offence

• Also known as the rule against ‘double
  jeopardy’
       Empanelling a Jury
•   Eligibility for service

•   Difference between a jury panel and
    the jury

•   Challenges – abolition of the
    peremptory challenge by the Defence
         The Prosecution
•   The Duty of the Prosecutor – not the
    Prosecutor’s role to secure a
    conviction at all costs

•   The Opening speech – giving the
    jurors an overall view of the case
The Prosecution Witnesses
•   The Prosecution should call all the
    witnesses whose statements were
    tendered at Committal Proceedings

•   The Prosecution have a duty to take
    all reasonable steps to secure the
    attendance of witnesses
     Defence objections to
     Prosecution Evidence
•   Not dealing with the rules of evidence in
    these lectures, but a lot of procedure at the
    Crown Court turns on the admissibility of
    evidence
•   Fundamental principle that in the Crown
    Court the Judge decides these questions
•   The D should give prior warning to the
    Prosecution
    Submission of No Case to
            Answer
•   P ends his case by saying ‘so that is
    the case for the Prosecution’

•   Then counsel for D may make a
    submission of no case to answer

•   The Judge can raise the matter as well
        The Defence Case
•   The Defence have the right to an opening
    speech where they intend to call another
    witness to testify to the facts of the case
    other than the accused

•   Good Character Witnesses do not count for
    these purposes (Criminal Evidence Act
    1898, s.2)
  The Defence Evidence
D is competent, but not compellable (s.1 of
    Criminal Evidence Act 1898)

D can choose whether to give evidence

D should normally be called first if there are
   other witnesses
D should testify from the witness box

The decision to testify must be taken by
D

Bar Code of Conduct
        Closing Speeches
• After the Defence Evidence the Prosecution
  may sum up his case to the Jury

• The Defence then have the right to the last
  word – must not make things up, although
  can suggest that there is an innocent
  explanation based on the evidence
        The Judge Sums Up
•    Major Difference from Summary Trial

•    Matters for the Judge to deal with in his summing
     up:
1.   His and the Jury’s Role;
2.   That it is for the Prosecution to prove its case;
3.   The Judge defines the offence charged;
4.   Where two Ds in one indictment, the Judge must
     tell the jury to consider them separately;
5.   Finally the Judge must deal with the evidence in
     the case.
             The Verdict
• The Jury retires to consider their verdict

• The jury can ask the judge for further
  explanations relating to the law

• No evidence shall be adduced before
  the jury after they have begun to
  consider their verdict
        Majority Verdicts
• Until 1967 the verdict of a jury had to be
  unanimous
• Juries Act 1974 is the present
  legislation governing this area
• Provides for majorities of 11 to 1 or 10
  to 2
• Judge directs them to try and reach a
  unanimous verdict
       Summary of lecture
•   You should now be able to:

1. Describe the jurisdiction of the Crown Court
   and how judges are allocated to different
   cases;
2. Explain what is meant by an indictment and
   the basic rules in drafting such a document;
3. Describe the procedure for managing cases
   in the Crown Court;
4. Outline the stages in a trial on indictment.

				
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