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Arraignment And Pleas Notes

BPTC Law Notes > BPTC Criminal Litigation Notes

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A more recent version of these Arraignment And Pleas 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:


? when is a person unfit to plead?
o unfit to plead if incapable of understanding the proceedings, so unable to:put forward any defence,give evidence at trial,challenge juror for cause,give proper directions to defence counselfollow the evidence (Podola)

o NOT unfit to plead, simply if will not accept what appears to be sensible advice from defence counsel

? who can raise issue?
o pros (BRD), defence (balance of probs) + judge of own motion
? procedure (s4 Crim Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964) o time for determination of fitnessideally, ASAP (as soon as raised) + before arraignmentcourt may postpone consideration of fitness until any time until opening of defence case if in D's interests (enables SNCTA to be made before Q determined)

o evidence requiredreports of 2 reg'd medical practitionersjudge can say doesn't agree with theseoften need adjournment for prep of reports

o fitness determined by court without jury, judge makes finding of fact (a) D found fit to plead ? trial proceeds as normal (i.e. arraignment-plea-trial
/ sentence)

(b) D found UNfit to plead ? jury (if fitness determined: at start, jury empanelled / after trial starts, jury trying substantive offence) decides whether D committed AR of offence (the act alone)

i. D did NOT commit AR ? acquitted ii. D DID commit AR ? 3 available disposals: o hospital order o supervision order o absolute dischargeavailable defences on act alone:

o o o o

mistake involuntariness accident self defence

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