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Timetable After Charge Bail Notes

BPTC Law Notes > BPTC Criminal Litigation Notes

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A more recent version of these Timetable After Charge Bail notes – written by City Law School students – is available here.

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Timetable After Charge (1) Bring before Mags


s46 PACE - A person in police custody must be brought before Mags:

"As soon as is practicable and in any event no later than the first sitting after he is charged with the offence."

This can be done before a single JP.

D must be asked if he wants legal representation, and if so provision must be made. Mags must deal with where it will be charged, and bail.

(2) Initial Details



When are you entitled to them?

Only entitled to these in Mags (summary/EW offences).

No details for indictable (E.g. murder) per Pt 10 CPR.

Police must serve under r10.2 CPR "as soon as practicable" and "in any event, no later than the beginning of the first hearing".

There are no specific consequences for non-compliance, but most likely non-disclosure will be prejudicial to D, so Mags likely to adjourn. What are "Initial Details"?

r10.3 CPR defines them as:

A summary of the evidence; or

Any statement, document or extract setting out the facts; or

Any combination of the above; and

D's previous convictions.

(3) Case Management Form & Time Limits



Case Management Form

Once plea of NG entered, case will be adjourned to prepare for Trial.

There is a standardised form in four parts:

1. Part 1 - Completed by Prosecution and requires prosecution details, and case management information to be provided, and directions requested by Prosecution.

2. Part 2 - Equivalent for the defence. Notifies D that trial may continue in his absence, and early plea gets sentencing discount.

3. Part 3 - (a) Each side must list intended witnesses and (b) The court must specify whether intended prosecution witnesses are justified.

4. Part 4 - Court must record its directions for trial.

Whilst this form is to avoid unnecessary pre-trial hearings, some binding pre-trial hearings are necessary under s8A MCA 1980 to resolve issues such as evidence (bad character, hearsay) or issues of law (abuse of process etc). Time Limits o The following time limits apply per Criminal PD, Annex E:


Time Period

Written admissions

14 days;

Defence Statement (r22.4 CPR, s6 CPIA 1996)
& Defence Witnesses (s6C CPIA 1996) with Application for Prosecution disclosure (r22.222.5 CPR, s8 CPIA 1996) -

14 days after prosecutor's disclosure;

Prosecutor's Response

14 days after that

Measures to assist witnesses

within 14 days.

XX when D isn't represented -

Within 7 days (r31 CPR)

Expert Evidence - meeting of experts within 14 days of this... Parties must notify immediately after this if trial length is affected.

Within 28 days, or if attending notice within 7 days after this, reliance 14 days after this,

Notice of Hearsay (r34.2,-3)

by prosecutor within 14 days, or asap if defendant.

Notice of Bad Character -

14 days (r35.2-4 CPR)

Evidence of Complainant's Previous Sexual Behaviour -

28 days of prosecution disclosure (r36.2-5);

Skeleton Argument

at least 14 days before trial.

Skeleton Argument

in reply 7 days after that

Certify readiness for trial

at least 14 days before trial.

P's Initial Disclosure

r10 allows D to request Initial Details before day of first hearing. If no request is made, and in any event, P must serve ASAP and no later than the beginning of the day of the first hearing (r10.2(2)).

Early Guilty Plea Hearing (EGPH)

This is the time D can get "full credit". This should take place 10-14 days after sending date in Magistrates, unless Pre-Sentence Report is required, then within 4 weeks.

Preliminary Hearing at CC

This should take place 10-14 days after sending to CC from Mags EXCEPT in murder/terrorism cases where within 48 hrs. (as Mags have no jurisdiction to remand in custody)

PCMH Advocates' Questionnaire

This is filled in by P and D, and the hearing takes place in presence of D. The Court deals with:

* Final indictment - any amendments?

* Trial date?

* P's Evidence (served all? If not, why and when?);

* Expert Evidence (necessary?)

* W arrangements (estimated date of attendance, length of evidence, measures!)

* Any special measures;

* Bad character applications;

* Witness Summons;

* Agreed facts and issues;

* Dispute facts and issues;

* Defence Statement;

* Disclosure Issues;

* Defendant's Interview (To agree redacted interview disclosure)

* Hearsay applications;

* Admissibility & legal issues;

PCMH (Usually, last hearing before Trial, unless "Preparatory Hearing" is necessary (eg: usually in complex fraud cases. Before jury is sworn but PH forms part of trial itself)

This should be held within:

* 13 wks after sending for trial, if D is in custody;

* 16 wks after sending for trial, where D is on bail.


(4) Advantages/Disadvantages of CC or Summary Trial Advantages of Summary Trial

Advantages of CC Trial







Lower penalties (6m imprisonment (1 year concurrent),
PS5000 fine) plus Guilty Plea deduction. But, you must tell client in CC the penalties are higher than in Mags. BUT you must also say, you won't necessarily get a stiffer penalty in the CC. Where Mags think sentencing powers are insufficient and commit case to CC for sentence, CC Judge may simply pass sentence that Magistrates could have awarded. So higher maximum, not necessarily lower sentence. Hear case quicker; Local Knowledge; CC is intimidating, so prefer Magistrates. Appellate - From Mags get retrial in Crown Court (as of right - no reason), before CC Judge and two lay magistrates, while in CC you need to satisfy ground that conviction is "unsafe". Often Prosecution witnesses won't turn up the second time round in retrial! So two bites at the cherry!
Costs in CC are greater, if you don't qualify for legal aid.



Judges more experienced in CC
- (e.g.: if saying absence of MR or something...) Lower conviction rate o If raise point of law (e.g. exclusion of inadmissible hearsay point of law) so jury kicked out and never hear the evidence. o In mags, you have to argue the evidence out in front of the magistrates. But Magistrates now know what it is. If they decide this is inadmissible, they've heard it. Is it possible for them to really put this out of their mind?

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