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NCJ Number: 150238 Find in a Library
Title: Pre-Trial Reviews, Court Efficiency and Justice: A Study in Leeds and Bradford Magistrates' Courts
Journal: Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:33  Issue:2  Dated:(May 1994)  Pages:109-124
Author(s): I D Brownless; A Mulcahy; C P Walker
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 16
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper discusses the role that pretrial review hearings might have in promoting the efficient handling of criminal cases in magistrates' courts in England and Wales and summarizes findings from an evaluation study in two busy inner-city courts with slightly different systems for pretrial review.
Abstract: The data came from 272 defendants in Leeds and 462 defendants in Bradford, England, in 1991. Quantitative data and qualitative data obtained from structured observations and semistructured interviews were analyzed. Gains in case processing efficiency were measured in terms of case settlement and case streamlining. Results revealed that 20 percent of the cases listed for pretrial review were settled there. In addition, the proportions of defendants giving notice that a trial was not to proceed as scheduled was higher and the length of the advance notice was longer when the defendant had a pretrial review. After the pretrial review hearing, however, the groups had few differences. In fact, cases involving review were likely to involve more hearings, the same or more trial dates, and longer disposal times than unreviewed cases. Therefore, the most visible benefits of the pretrial review systems were case settlement and early warning of collapsing trials. Results also suggested that policymakers considering pretrial review systems should avoid imposing excessive formality in their structures. Tables, notes, and 37 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Foreign courts
Index Term(s): England; Pretrial hearings; Wales
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