A more recent version of these Mode Of Trial And Committal notes – written by Cambridge And Oxilp And College Of Law students – is available here.
The following is a more accessble 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:
Core Module: Mode or Trial and Committal
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
I. 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
II. 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: a) Both prosecution and Defense make representations as to the appropriate trial venue. b) 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.
1 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.
Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Criminal Litigation Notes.