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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 43771 Find in a Library
Title: CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS IN ENGLAND AND WALES
Journal: JUSTICE SYSTEM JOURNAL  Volume:3  Issue:1  Dated:(FALL 1977)  Pages:38-49
Author(s): I R SCOTT
Corporate Author: Institute for Court Management
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Institute for Court Management
Denver, CO 80202
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE MANNER IN WHICH CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS ARE INITIATED AND MANAGED IN ENGLAND AND WALES IS DESCRIBED, WITH EMPHASIS ON THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE CRIMINAL COURTS AND THE PROSECUTING AUTHORITIES.
Abstract: IN ENGLAND AND WALES COURTS WITH TRIAL JURISDICTION IN CRIMINAL CASES ARE THE CROWN COURT AND THE 900 MAGISTRATES' COURTS. NEARLY 98 PERCENT OF ALL CRIMINAL CASES ARISING ANNUALLY ARE DISPOSED OF IN THE MAGISTRATES' COURTS. ENGLISH LAW RECOGNIZES, FOR PROCEDURAL PURPOSES, THREE CLASSIFICATIONS OF OFFENSES: THOSE THAT ARE DEALT WITH BY MAGISTRATES' COURTS (PURELY SUMMARY OFFENSES); THOSE THAT MUST BE DEALT WITH IN THE CROWN COURT (PURELY INDICTABLE OFFENSES); AND THOSE THAT MAY BE TRIED EITHER SUMMARILY OR ON INDICTMENT. THE APPEARANCE OF THE ACCUSED IN A MAGISTRATES' COURT MAY BE SECURED BY A SUMMONS ISSUED BY A MAGISTRATE AND SERVED ON THE ACCUSED, BY POLICE ESCORT FOLLOWNG SUMMARY ARREST, OR BY ARREST UNDER WARRANT ISSUED BY A MAGISTRATE. A SIGNIFICANT FEATURE OF THE ENGLISH PROSECUTION SYSTEM IS THAT FOR MORE SERIOUS OFFENSES THE INITIAL DECISION TO PROSECUTE IS FOR THE POLICE TO MAKE. IN SOME FORCES, POLICE OFFICERS ARE ASSIGNED TO ACT AS PROSECUTORS (POLICE LAWYERS) IN SUMMARY CASES, EXAMINING AND CROSS-EXAMINING WITNESSES AND INTRODUCING EVIDENCE. GENERALLY, PROSECUTING SOLICITORS ACT AS LEGAL ADVISORS WHO HAVE THE POLICE AS THEIR CLIENTS. THE EXACT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PROSECUTING SOLICITORS AND THE POLICE FORCES THEY SERVE VARIES FROM FORCE TO FORCE. THE DEBATE OVER PROSECUTION MANAGEMENT ENCOMPASSES TWO EXTREMES: THE VIEW THAT A NATIONAL PROSECUTION SERVICE UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS SHOULD BE INTERPOSED BETWEEN THE POLICE AND THE COURTS; AND THE VIEW THAT THE DISCRETION TO PROSECUTE SHOULD REMAIN WITH THE POLICE, PERHAPS WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF MINOR REFORMS. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT, ALTHOUGH PROSECUTION MANAGEMENT IN ENGLAND SEEMS FRAUGHT WITH POTENTIAL SOURCES OF CONFLICTS AND APPEARS IN SOME CASES TO BE INEFFICIENT, THE SYSTEM HAS NOT WORKED 'TOO BADLY.' FACTORS TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN ANY REORGANIZATION OF ENGLISH PROSECUTION MANAGEMENT ARE NOTED.
Index Term(s): England; Management; Police discretion; Police responsibilities; Prosecutorial discretion; Trial procedures; Wales
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=43771

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