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Summary Trial Notes

BPTC Law Notes > BPTC Criminal Litigation Notes

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A more recent version of these Summary Trial 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:

SUMMARY TRIAL The information / written charge

? written charge + requisition o = post 2003 procedure for public prosecutions o written charge - when issued begins proceedings o requisition - issued at same time as written charge - requires D to attend mags' to answer written charge

o serve on D + serve copies on court named o public prosecutor issues (police, DPP, AG etc.) o advantage over laying information + obtaining summons (pre-2003 for public pros)pros can start proceedings WITHOUT court having a sayspeed up process - matter does NOT have to be approved by clerk /

? information + summons o = post 2003 procedure for: (a) private prosecutions; and (b) public prosecutions for purposes of obtaining issue of a warrant
? duplicity o duplicitous = 2 offences charged within written charge / information o if duplicitous, pros can elect which charge to proceed with o BUT single document may contain more than 1 written charge / information (CrimPR r7.2(4) Which mags' court summary trial should take place in

? mags' have jurisdiction to try summary + either way offences (MCA s2)
? which mags'?
o Lord Chancellor gives directions as to distribution + transfer of business in mags'

o when D charged, pros decide which mags' should appear before, taking account of directionsusually mags' in local justice area of offence OR where D resides

? transfer between mags' o general powercourt can - on application of a party / of own motion - transfer case at any stage during proceedingsshould invite representations from all parties before doingno appeal (s27A MCA)

o specific statutory provisionsPCC(S)A s10(1) if convicted in 1 mags', who are then inform also convicted of another offence in another mags' for which he is yet to be sentenced, can remit to other court

Time within summary trial should take place

? summary offences - mags' must issue written charge + requisition OR serve information 6 months from the date of the commission of the offence / for continuing offences, when offence ceased to be committed (s127 MCA 1980)

? either-way offences - NO time limit
? if statute specifies time period - applies to both summary only and either-way Disclosure in advance of summary trial

? pros disclosure o initial detailsinitial details = summary of pros case and / or any written statements or documents setting out facts or matters pros base case onby no later than beginning of day of first hearing in case, pros must if requested - provide initial details to defence (Part 21 CrimPR)


o pre-trial disclosureD also has right to pre-trial disclosure of pros case, in sufficient time to properly consider evidence before called (i.e. all evidence pros intends to rely on) (AG's Guidelines on Disclosure)necessary to satisfy art 6

? defence statement in mags' o mandatory in CC o optional in mags' o BUT if choose to serve and DON'T fulfil requirements, adverse inferences can be drawn

o advantage of serving: triggers further pros check for previously undisclosed material which may assist D's defence Special pleas in the context of summary trial

? autrefois acquit + convict o apply as in CC o NO set procedure
? unfitness to plead o NO set procedure (s4 Crim Procedure (Insanity) Act does NOT apply) o if thought D would be unfit to plead if being tried on indictment, defence have 2 options:elect CC trial (if either-way) + JPs may decline jurisdiction on this basis anywayD enters NG plea, pros put to proof + will be difficult to prove MR AND common-law defence of insanity availableJPs invite court to make hospital order without convicting D (MHA s37)

Procedure at summary trial

? case management o court + parties required to practise active case management (CrimPR part 3) o particular requirements: (a) plea should be taken at first hearing (if CANNOT be taken, court should find out what likely to be)

(b) G plea - unless committing to CC for sentence, mags' should sentence on same day if possible

(c) NG plea - parties must ID disputed issues + inform mags (fill out Trial Prep form)contents of Trial Prep form are admissible formal admissions only if in section of form relating to admissionsif NOT in admissions sections, only = formal admissions in exceptional circumstances

o the timetablemust setestimate of more than 1 day should be scrutinised with 'utmost rigour'proportionate approach required - focus on simplicity + speedshould check timetable still valid at start of trial

? early administrative hearings o only applies if D charged at police station o mags' of first appearance may consist of single JP (s50 CDA 1998) o procedure (1) D asks if wants legal aid (2) if does, must arrange for D to apply for + obtain (may adjourn for this + remand in custody / on bail)

? pre-trial hearings o if D to be tried summarily AND has pleaded NG, pre-trial review may take place (s8A MCA)

o the hearing (1) mags' may, if in interests of justice, make ruling on admissibility of evidence + Qs of law

(2) court decides to make ruling of own initiative OR on application of a party

(3) if ruling to be given: (a) mags' must give parties opportunity to make representations

(b) unrepresented D must be given opportunity to apply for legal aid

(4) any ruling is binding until case against D concluded, including on mags' who eventually try case (s8B)

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