A more recent version of these Appeals From Mc notes – written by City Law School students – is available here.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our BPTC Criminal Litigation Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
APPEALS FROM Magistrates Court Power of Magistrates Court to Rectify Mistakes (s142 Magistrates Courts Act) Where Defendant convicted by a Magistrates Court and it subsequently appears to the court that it would be in the interests of justice that the case be heard again by different justices,
Magistrates may re-open case regardless of whether Defendant pleaded Guilty or Not Guilty.
If conviction set-aside - case reheard by different Magistrates than those who convicted Defendant.
Not a wide and general power on Magistrates to re-open previous decisions on grounds that it is in the interests of justice to do so, rather it is "a power to be used in a relatively limited situation, namely one which is akin to mistake or the slip rule." May be appropriate if:
there was a defect in procedure, or
the Magistrates made an error of law
To be used where the mistake is quickly identified and it is accepted on all sides that a mistake has been made. Wide power and absence of any time limit must be exercised taking into account the principle of finality of sentencing, Application Application under s142 may be considered by same Magistrates who convicted Defendant or by a different bench. Powers Magistrates Court may vary or rescind sentence/other order made by it if appears to the court to be in the interests of justice to do so.
Only applies where Defendant pleaded Guilty/was convicted - cannot be used where Defendant acquitted/charge withdrawn
Not in the interests of justice to extend sentence unless power exercised speedily after date of original sentence Time Limit No time-limit on re-opening a case under s142 But delay is a factor to take into account when considering an application Power to rectify lost after case appealed to Crown Court/High Court and that appeal has been determined. Appeal from Magistrates Court to Crown Court Appeal against Conviction and/or Sentence by Defendant
Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our BPTC Criminal Litigation Notes.