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Appeals From Cc Notes

BPTC Law Notes > BPTC Criminal Litigation Notes

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APPEALS FROM CROWN COURT Power of Crown Court to Rectify Mistakes as to Sentence Crown Court-imposed sentence may be varied/rescinded within 56 days beginning with date of sentence. May be used to:

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Correct technical error

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Reduce the sentence, or

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Increase the sentence
* only increase length of custodial sentence or replace non-custodial with custodial sentence in exceptional circumstances
* may extend sentence if failed to impose "dangerous offender" sentence.

After time-limit elapses, Crown Court has no power to vary/rescind a sentence

*

Though may rescind sentence (within time-limit) and then adjourn re-sentencing to date after expiry of time-limit THE CRIMINAL DIVISION OF THE COURT OF APPEAL

Traditionally heard appeals from the Crown Court on all matters relating to trial on indictment and appeals against any sentence passed by Crown Court following committal.

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Appeals on matters not relating to trial on indictment (eg. appeals from Magistrates Court) have been heard by the High Court, by way of case stated or Judicial Review.

Test: Whether the decision of the Crown Court was one:
# affecting the conduct of the trial,
# given in the course of the trial or by way of pre-trial directions Now allows Prosecution to appeal against trial Judge's rulings in certain circumstances. Composition of the Court

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Hearing appeal against conviction - at least 3 judges.
* 5 or 7 judges if case is exceptionally complex or significant.

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Hearing appeal against sentence - usually 2 judges

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Lord Chief Justice may also ask any of the following to sit in the Court of Appeal:
* any High Court Judge - except if was trial judge or passed sentence,
* Circuit Judges - may sit in appeals specified as suitable by the Lord Chief Justice, may not sit on any appeal from the decision of a High Court Judge.

Court's Registrar

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Administrative work of Criminal Division of Court of Appeal is carried out by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals:
* receives all notices and applications,
* serves all relevant notices on the parties to the appeal,
* obtains necessary transcripts, exhibits and other materials

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Registrar must nominate a case progression officer. APPEAL TO COURT OF APPEAL (BY DEFENDANT)

Requires leave unless Trial Judge certified as "fit for appeal" Defendant's Right to Appeal If Defendant's appeal to Court of Appeal is dismissed, he has no right to bring a second appeal 2 exceptions:
* Where Defendant seeks to revive an abandoned appeal,
* Where, owing to a defect in procedure, Defendant has, on the first appeal being dismissed, suffered an injustice.
# eg. where Defendant was not notified of the hearing date.

Certificate of Fitness for Appeal May mention any ground/fact/law May be on application of Defendant or of court's own initiative. Will only be granted if there is a particular and cogent ground of appeal with a substantial chance of success. Leave to Appeal Procedure for Applying for Leave Must lodge appeal within 28 days from date of conviction at Crown Court where proceedings took place

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if appeal against sentence - within 28 days from sentence.

Notice of appeal must:

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identify each ground on which appellant relies, concisely outlining each argument in support;

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summarise relevant facts;

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identify any relevant authorities

Grounds of appeal should set out relevant facts concisely in one all encompassing document

* If Defendant legally-represented - counsel should settle and sign the grounds Counsel should not settle or sign grounds unless they are:

* reasonable,

* have some real prospect of success and

* are such that s/he is prepared to argue them before the Court Grounds & Advice should be in a single document Once registrar of Court of Appeal has notice and grounds, may then order a transcript of all/part of summing-up as specified in the grounds Sends to counsel - Grounds then 'perfected' within 14 days

* Should refer to transcript by page and para number

* Identify authorities relying on

* If intends to call Witnesses - Reason why must be explained fully

* Clearly identify any document referred to. Counsel should also file skeleton with perfected grounds - Powers of Registrar Registrar has power to:

* extend time for giving notice of appeal,

* order Witness to attend for examination,

* vary bail conditions imposed by Crown Court/Court of Appeal (as long as Prosecution does not object) If Registrar refuses any of these applications, may apply to single judge. Registrar may also examine grounds of appeal:

* If decides has good chance of success - refer application for leave of the court - court may grant leave and determine appeal at one hearing

* If decides no substantial grounds - refer to court for summary determination Decision on Leave by Single Judge Application placed before single Judge Does not hear submissions, makes decision on papers

* may seek views of Prosecution Single Judge may:

* Grant leave on some/all grounds,

* Refuse leave Other powers:

* Allow Appellant to be present at appeal hearing,

* Order a Witness to attend for examination,

* Allow bail pending the appeal hearing

* Make/vary/discharge orders

* Order costs

* Give direction for loss of time. Bail pending Appeal Crown Court may only grant bail pending appeal if Judge certifies case as fit for appeal Court of Appeal (single judge) will only grant bail if exceptional circumstances drive to believe that justice can only be done if bail granted. Usually will just expedite hearing. Renewal of Application before Full Court after Refusal Must renew application (by notifying the registrar) within 14 days of refusal of leave by single judge Must renew application in person at Court of Appeal Loss of Time Directions When application renewed, single judge will indicate whether Court of Appeal should consider loss of time. If Court of Appeal considers that (renewed) application is wholly without merit may order that time in spent in custody awaiting appeal shall not count towards Defendant's sentence. Hearing of Appeal Usually legal argument based on papers Constitution of Court Hearing appeal against conviction - at least 3 judges.
* 5 or 7 judges if case is exceptionally complex or significant. Hearing appeal against sentence - usually 2 judges Lord Chief Justice may also ask any of the following to sit in the Court of Appeal:

*

any High Court Judge - except if was trial judge or passed sentence,

*

Circuit Judges - may sit in appeals specified as suitable by the Lord Chief Justice, may not sit on any appeal from the decision of a High Court Judge.

Fresh Evidence Role of the Court of Appeal is not to make a finding of fact but to assess new evidence that has become available since the trial and to make a decision on the safety of the earlier conviction. Court of Appeal may permit any evidence to be called, whether or not adduced at trial. Consider:

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whether evidence appears to be capable of belief,
* consider anticipated testimony in context of case as a whole

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whether the evidence affords any ground for allowing the appeal,

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