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NCJ Number: 50530 Find in a Library
Title: NO BRIEF FOR THE DOCK - REPORT OF THE HOWARD LEAGUE WORKING PARTY ON CUSTODY DURING TRIAL
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: Barry Rose Publishers
United Kingdom

Howard League for Penal Reform
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 36
Sponsoring Agency: Barry Rose Publishers
Chichester, Sussex, England
Howard League for Penal Reform
London, N19 3NL, England
Sale Source: Howard League for Penal Reform
708 Holloway Road
London, N19 3NL,
United Kingdom
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THE USE OF THE DOCK AND THE IMPLICATIONS OF ALTERNATIVES, TOGETHER WITH ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PRISONERS IN THE COURT BUILDING ARE DISCUSSED FOR ENGLAND AND WALES.
Abstract: IT IS ARGUED THAT THE DOCK, A CONFINING ENCLOSURE FOR DETAINED DEFENDANTS IN THE COURTROOM, IS NOT A LEGAL NECESSITY, SINCE THE ONLY AUTHORITY FOR ITS USE IS TRADITION. UNDESIRABLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE USE OF THE DOCK ARE CONSIDERED TO BE ISOLATION OF THE DEFENDANT AND DETRACTION FROM THE FUNDAMENTAL LEGAL PRINCIPLE THAT THE DEFENDANT IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVED GUILTY. FURTHER, IT PLACES THE DEFENDANT UNDER A GREATER DEGREE OF RESTRAINT THAN IS DEEMED NECESSARY IN MOST CASES TO INSURE THAT HE SUBMITS TO THE CRIMINAL PROCESS. IT ALSO RESTRICTS HIS COMMUNICATION WITH HIS LEGAL ADVISER AND PLACES HIM AT A DISADVANTAGE IN CONDUCTING HIS DEFENSE. PRESENT PRACTICE IS ADDITIONALLY CONSIDERED TO VIOLATE THE PRINCIPLE OF EQUALITY OF TREATMENT, IN THAT COURTS DIFFER IN THE SEVERITY AND DESIGN OF THE DOCK, WITH SOME NOT EVEN HAVING THIS DEVICE. CURRENTLY, THE COURT HAS DISCRETION AS TO WHETHER TO PLACE A DEFENDANT IN THE DOCK, AND IT IS INDICATED THAT THE STANDARD MOST COMMONLY USED IS WHETHER THE DEFENDANT WAS SUMMONED TO COURT OR ARRESTED. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE DOCK NOT BE USED, EXCEPT FOR THE VERY SMALL CATEGORY OF DEFENDANTS WHOSE ESCAPE WOULD BE HIGHLY DANGEROUS TO THE PUBLIC OR THE SECURITY OF THE STATE. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT A DEFENDANT BE SEATED AT A DESK OR TABLE JUST BEHIND THE ADVOCATES' TABLE TO PROVIDE UNOBTRUSIVE SECURITY WHILE ALLOWING HIM TO CONVERSE WITH HIS ADVOCATE. IT IS ALSO RECOMMENDED THAT BAIL GRANTED BEFORE TRIAL SHOULD BE EXTENDED DURING THE TRIAL AND THE JUDGE'S SUMMING UP, EXCEPT UNDER RARE CIRCUMSTANCES. IT IS ADVISED THAT ATTENTION SHOULD ALSO BE GIVEN TO THE CUSTODY OF DEFENDANTS IN THE COURTHOUSE, WHICH WOULD INVOLVE IMPROVEMENTS IN PHYSICAL CONDITIONS, PARTICULARLY IN SOME OF THE OLDER COURTHOUSES. A 1966 LAW SOCIETY REPORT RECOMMENDING THE ABOLITION OF THE DOCK IS CONTAINED IN THE APPENDIX. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Bail discrimination; Court security; England; Rights of the accused; Wales
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50530

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