This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

LPC Law Notes Criminal Litigation Notes

Mode Of Trial And Committal Notes

Updated Mode Of Trial And Committal 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

Mode or Trial and Committal

1. Plea before venue hearing:

  • S.17A Magistrates Court Act 1980

  • Applicable to ‘Either way offence’ only!

  • Defendant [D] indicates how he intends to plea [guilty / not guilty]

  • D would have received any advanced disclosure from prosecution.

  • Purpose of hearing = to assess the seriousness of the offence

  1. D makes a Guilty Plea = Magistrates decide on sentencing [either sentence in Magistrates Court or commit to Crown Court if Magistrate’s sentencing powers are inadequate.

Maximum Magistrates sentence:

  • One either way offence = 6 months; fine 5000 pounds

  • Two or more either way offences = 12 months; Fine 5000 pounds

  1. D makes Not Guilty Plea / D refused to enter a plea: Mode of Trial enquiry is required to determine whether D should be tried in Magistrates or Crown Court.

2. Mode of Trial hearing:

  1. Both prosecution and Defense make representations as to the appropriate trial venue.

  2. Magistrates then decide whether to retain jurisdiction – considering:

    • Submissions by both parties;

    • S.19(3) MCA 1980: The matters to which the court is to have regard under subsection (1) above are the nature of the case; whether the circumstances make the offence one of serious character; whether the punishment which a magistrates’ court would have power to inflict for it would be adequate; and any other circumstances which appear to the court to make it more suitable for the offence to be tried in one way rather than the other.

    • General Sentencing guidelines e.g. Prosecution’s version of the facts is always presumed to be correct for the mode of trial hearing – so Magistrates can cater for worse case scenario.

    • Specific sentencing guidelines

  3. Outcomes:

  1. Magistrates REFUSE jurisdiction – straight to Crown Court for trial on indictment. Client does not have the right to elect. Proceed to committal hearing.

  2. Magistrates retain jurisdiction – this gives D the RIGHT TO ELECT:

  1. D consents to Summary trial in Magistrates. Date for trial will be set.

  2. D elects Crown Court Trial – trial on indictment. Proceed to committal hearing.

Assisting the client on his right to elect:

Advantages of Magistrates Court Factors in favor of Crown Court
  • Limited sentencing power (but note Magistrates can always commit case to Crown for sentencing. [S.3 Power of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000]. Crown court can impose a sentence up to statutory maximum for the particular offence)

  • Faster procedure - case can be completed much sooner (has D been denied bail?)

  • Less stressful – procedure less formal and intimidating. IS client very nervous and jumpy. Can he be intimidated easily (Crown not appropriate).

  • Less publicity (perhaps). IS the defendant a public figure or is the case of particular public interest.

  • Pre-trial disclosure: No defense statement need be served [under Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act]. Prosecution have no time to counter arguments

  • Presenting Advocate – more familiar with the case. IN crown court Advocate usually receives instructions on a last minute basis.

  • Costs / expense: Often cheaper! [Court Means test is an ‘in or out’ scheme]. If D qualifies for a representation order he will not have to pay any contribution to the court.

If in Crown Court - D...

Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Criminal Litigation Notes.