Trial on Indictment in the Crown Court by changcheng2


									English Legal System

Trial on Indictment in the Crown
•    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
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
2.   State who has rights of audience in the Crown
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
• Trial on Indictment – exclusive
• 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
• High Court or Red Judges

• Circuit Judges

• Recorders

• Deputy Circuit Judges
     How is the work divided
      between the judges?
•    Offences are categorized according to
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
•    There are three main kinds of hearings:

•    Plea and Directions Hearings

•    Pre-trial Hearings

•    Preparatory Hearings
       Plea and Directions
• 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
•   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
• 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
      Autrefois Acquit or
       Autrefois Convict
• Should not be tried twice for the same

• Also known as the rule against ‘double
       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
•   Fundamental principle that in the Crown
    Court the Judge decides these questions
•   The D should give prior warning to the
    Submission of No Case to
•   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

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
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
• 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
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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