Criminal Litigation SGS 4 Summary Trail

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Author:
billsykes
ID:
210144
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Criminal Litigation SGS 4 Summary Trail
Updated:
2013-03-29 15:05:33
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Criminal Litigation SGS
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Criminal Litigation SGS 4
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  1. You represent Ruth who is charged with Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm before the Gladbury Magistrates’ Court. At her trial the prosecution have called all their evidence and closed their case. You are now considering whether to make a Submission of no case to answer.

    Which one of the following is CORRECT?

    [i] You cannot make this submission now because this must be done before the prosecution opens their case.

    [ii] You cannot make this submission now because this must be done before the prosecution closes their case.

    [iii] You can only successfully make this submission if there is no evidence to prove an essential element of the offence. The submission must be made at the end of the prosecution case.

    [iv] You can only successfully make this submission if there is no evidence to prove an essential element of the offence and the defendant has called a witness.

    [A] i and ii

    [B] iii and iv

    [C] All of the above

    [D] None of the above
    [D] None of the above
  2. Which of the following statements about the prosecution’s right to make a closing speech is CORRECT?

    [A] If the defendant is unrepresented, the prosecution cannot make a closing speech. 

    [B] If the defendant doesn’t give evidence, then the prosecution cannot make a closing speech. 

    [C] The prosecution is entitled to one speech, and may choose if this is an opening or a closing speech.

    [D] To make a closing speech, the defendant must be represented or have called evidence in support of his case other than his own testimony
    [D] To make a closing speech, the defendant must be represented or have called evidence in support of his case other than his own testimony

    CORRECT
  3. Evita appeared in the magistrates’ court facing a charge of being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle. She had parked legally but on a narrow road right outside her house. Someone had parked illegally opposite her house obstructing the road for wide vehcles. She was drinking at home, not expecting to drive and only moved the car to let an ambulance attend an address further down the road. A friend of hers mistakenly advised her that this is a ‘strict liability’ offence, and that she should plead guilty. She now realises she might have a defence, but is due in court next week for sentence.

    Which statement is WRONG in relation to Evita’s right to change her plea?

    [A] Her plea might be deemed ‘equivocal’ and as such the court should withdraw the plea

    [B] She can apply to change her plea (as any defendant can) by giving written notice of such an intention

    [C] She can change her plea as of right as she was not legally represented when she entered her plea

    [D] If the magistrates do not investigate if this plea is equivocal, the defendant can appeal the conviction to the Crown Court.
    [C] She can change her plea as of right as she was not legally represented when she entered her plea

    CORRECT answer as this statement is wrong. Whilst the courts may be readier to believe that a plea was entered on a false understanding of the law if the defendant was not represented, it is not the case that absence of representation is an automatic ground for being allowed to change plea.
  4. You are involved in a trial where the defendant has very damaging previous convictions, although they are out of date. The prosecution wishes to rely on the convictions at trial – a position that you strongly oppose. You are also anxious in ruling the convictions as inadmissible, the magistrates will hear them anyway, and so the damage is done in large part even if the magistrates declare them as inadmissible.

    Which statement is CORRECT about how the defence can or cannot tackle the situation?

    [A] You may apply for a pre-trial hearing at which a magistrates can make a ruling on admissibility which cannot subsequently be overturned

    [B] No magistrates’ court can bind another magistrates’ court so no application can be made to decide the issue of admissibility before trial

    [C] You may apply for a pre-trial hearing, at which a decision on admissibility can be made, but the decision can be overturned by the trial court if it in the interests of justice to overturn it, such as a change in circumstances or fresh evidence 

    [D] You can apply to the High Court for a ruling on a point of law
    [C] You may apply for a pre-trial hearing, at which a decision on admissibility can be made, but the decision can be overturned by the trial court if it in the interests of justice to overturn it, such as a change in circumstances or fresh evidence

    CORRECT – the power to order pre-trial hearings comes from MCA 1980 s.8A, and the commentary in R (CPS) v Gloucester Justices (2008) 172 JP 506 is that ‘interests of justice’ should be narrowly defined to mean change in circs or fresh evidence
  5. In a summary trial, if the prosecution and defence agree over a witness do they still need to be called?
    No

    If there is no dispute of the evidence given by the witness, their witness statement can be read out in court
  6. If a witness can't attend the trail, what options are there?
    Can apply for:

    witness summons

    witness warrant

    adjournment of trial
  7. If the accused is under 18, can the court proceed in his absence?
    Yes. They MAY proceed in his absence
  8. If the accused is over 18, can the court proceed in his absence?
    Yes. MUST proceed unless unjust to do so.
  9. If the accused decides to change his plea during trial, will the court allow this?
    Yes - but it is the discretion of the court
  10. What is the order of trial procedure?
    Pros opening speech

    Pros Evidence

    Pros Close their case

    [D may make application for NCTO]

    D evidence presented

    D closes their case

    Pros closing speech (if A has call witnesses or A is represented)

    D closing speech
  11. What is an application for no case to answer?
    Application by the defence to stop the trail against the accused where:

    There is no evidence, or

    Prosecution case is so poor that a reasonable properly directed jury would not convict

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