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LPC Law Notes Criminal Litigation Notes

At The Police Station Notes

Updated At The Police Station Notes

Criminal Litigation Notes

Criminal Litigation

Approximately 143 pages

A collection of the best LPC Criminal Litigation notes the director of Oxbridge Notes (an Oxford law graduate) could find after combing through dozens of LPC samples from outstanding students with the highest results in England and carefully evaluating each on accuracy, formatting, logical structure, spelling/grammar, conciseness and "wow-factor".

In short these are what we believe to be the strongest set of Criminal Lit notes available in the UK this year. This collection of notes is fully up...

The following is a more accessible plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Criminal Litigation Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Criminal Litigation

At the Police Station – interview, Cautioning & rights to silence

1. Powers of Police

  • Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 [PACE]

  • Focus on powers of detention and interview!

  • Codes of Practice

Code C = rules on detention; treatment & questioning of suspect

1 The Custody Record
2 Right not to be held incommunicado - section 5
3 Right to legal advice – section 6
4 Interviews – Section 11 -
5 Detention – Section 15

If code C is breached:

  • Breach of code is not a criminal offence or a civil wrong

  • S.67(11) PACE obliges courts in civil & criminal proceedings to take into account any breach of the code which appears to be relevant to the issue in those proceedings

[i.e. defence can use breach to argue for inadmissible evidence]

  • S.76 PACE – confession given as a result of oppression (or things said or done that makes confession unreliable) court will not allow confession to be given as evidence unless prosecution can prove beyond reasonable doubt that confession was NOT obtained in those circumstances.

S.76(2): If, in any proceedings where the prosecution proposes to give in evidence a confession made by an accused person, it is represented to the court that the confession was or may have been obtained—

(a) By oppression of the person who made it; or

(b) In consequence of anything said or done which was likely, in the circumstances existing at the time, to render unreliable any confession which might be made by him in consequence thereof,

The court SHALL NOT ALLOW the confession to be given in evidence against him except in so far as the prosecution proves to the court beyond reasonable doubt that the confession (notwithstanding that it may be true) was not obtained as aforesaid

If there is oppression = Court must exclude the evidence that was gained! This is mandatory.

(as opposed to S.78 which is discretionary)

  • S.78 PACE – exclusion of unfair evidence if obtained in any unfair way (applies to police powers to search; arrest; offering right to legal advice; detention; interview; identification):

S.78(1) In any proceedings the court MAY refuse to allow evidence on which the prosecution proposes to rely to be given if it appears to the court that, having regard to all the circumstances, including the circumstances in which the evidence was obtained, the admission of the evidence would have such an adverse effect on the fairness of the proceedings that the court ought not to admit it.

Breach S.78 = Judge has DISCRETION to exclude the evidence.

2. Cautioning

Alternatives to being charged
  1. Warning [informal warning]

  2. Let-off

  3. Police bail – pending further enquiries


What is a Caution?

Definition and purpose: a formal warning; the aim is to rehabilitate.

Status: not a conviction; But record of the caution is kept – it may be relevant to a sentence in the future if client goes onto commit another offence.

Two kinds of caution =

  1. Simple caution:

  • Suited to low level offending behavior.

  • Where there is an absence of aggravating factors.

  • Prosecution is not required.

  • E.g. simple theft

  1. Conditional caution:

  • S.23-27 Criminal Justice Act.

  • Appropriate where the Crown Prosecution considers that there is sufficient evidence for the prosecution but it is in the best interests of the offender, the victim, and the community to require the offender to comply with specific conditions aimed at rehabilitation, reparation and punishment.

  • Client must comply with conditions otherwise they will go to court and be charged.

Pre-conditions of conditional caution
  1. Client admits guilt to an authorised person

  2. In the opinion of the relevant prosecutor, there is sufficient evidence to charge the offender and the prosecution has determined caution can be granted in line with public interest.

  3. Client is 18+

Necessary steps to implement the caution:
  1. Informed consent to the caution – client must understand what the caution means [police and solicitor should explain]

  2. Client must SIGN the caution.

Arguments in favor of caution vs. arguments in favor of prosecution

Code for Crown Prosecution

Basic Question: Is the prosecution sure that the public interest factors in favor of prosecution outweigh the public interest factors tending against prosecution. If Yes proceed to charge.

[I.E. it is in the public interest to prosecute client or pursue out-of-court disposal.]

Exam technique =

  • Arguments in favor of caution – APPLY

  • Arguments in favor of prosecution – APPLY


Conditional caution!

  • Conditions must be appropriate to the offence; achievable; proportionate.

  • Target the offender’s rehabilitation, reparation and / or punishment

e.g. ban from shop / fine / compensation for damage / attend a specific place

  • Failure to comply with the conditions: client can be prosecuted for the original offence


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