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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 65618 Find in a Library
Title: ROYAL COMMISSION ON CRIMINAL PROCEDURE - ORAL EVIDENCE - ENGLAND
Corporate Author: Royal Cmssn on Criminal Procedure
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Royal Cmssn on Criminal Procedure
London, SW1A 1DH, England
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF A PROPOSED REFORM OF THE BRITISH CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, AND SUBSEQUENT TO SOLICITING SUGGESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC, THE ROYAL COMMISSION NOW PLANS TO ASK SOME RESPONDENTS FOR VERBAL TESTIMONY.
Abstract: THIS REPORT FOCUSES ON A NUMBER OF TOPICS WHICH THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON CRIMINAL PROCEDURE PLANS TO COVER DURING TESTIMONY. THE FIRST AREA OF INQUIRY CONCERNS THREE OPTIONS FOR CHANGES IN THE BRITISH PROSECUTION SYSTEM. AMONG ALTERNATIVES ARE A LOCALLY BASED PROSECUTING SOLICITOR, A LOCALLY BASED INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR, OR A NATIONAL PROSECUTING AGENCY. SINCE POLICE ARE CURRENTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DECISION TO PROSECUTE, A CHANGE OF PROCEDURE MIGHT AFFECT THEIR ABILITY TO MAINTAIN LAW AND ORDER. A CRITIQUE OF EACH PROSECUTORIAL OPTION IN TERMS OF LOCAL CONDITIONS IS PRESENTED TOUCHING UPON DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITY, UNIFORMITY OF POLICY AND ACCOUNTABILITY, FUNDING SOURCES FOR LOCAL SERVICES, THE LEGAL PROSECUTORIAL STAFF, THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE PROSECUTORIAL FUNCTION, AND PROSECUTION ADVOCACY. THE BROAD TOPIC OF TRIAL PREPARATION IS DIVIDED INTO COMMITTAL PROCEEDINGS, DISCLOSURE, AND PLEA BARGAINING, AND THE QUESTIONS RAISED BY RESPONDENTS' PROPOSALS ON EACH POINT WILL HAVE TO BE ADDRESSED. ON THE TOPIC OF POLICE DISCRETIONARY POWERS, THE COMMISSION RECEIVED MANY SUGGESTIONS FOR CLARIFICATION AND SIMPLIFICATION OF LEGAL DEFINITIONS, WITH THE MAIN OBJECTIVE OF MAKING POLICE PRACTICE CONFORM TO THE LAW. THE POLICE DISCRETIONARY POWERS MOST IN ISSUE WERE POWERS INSIDE THE POLICE STATION, SUCH AS DETENTION FOR QUESTIONING (E.G., LENGTH OF TIME SUSPECTS MAY BE DETAINED), THE CITIZEN'S GENUINE VOLUNTARINESS TO COOPERATE WITH THE POLICE, SUSPECTS' RIGHTS TO BE SILENT AND TO HAVE AN ATTORNEY PRESENT DURING QUESTIONING; SPECIAL RIGHTS OF JUVENILES AND MENTALLY RETARDED PEOPLE (E.G., JUVENILES' RIGHT TO HAVE A PARENT OR ANOTHER ADULT PRESENT DURING POLICE QUESTIONING, AND TO HAVE A PHYSICIAN DIAGNOSE THE MENTALLY RETARDED INDIVIDUAL'S COMPETENCE TO BE QUESTIONED). POWERS OF ARREST, STOP AND SEARCH, AND SEARCH AND SEIZURE ELICITED THE KEENEST INTEREST ON THE PART OF THE RESPONDENTS TO THE WRITTEN QUESTIONNAIRE.
Index Term(s): Civil disobedience; England; Law reform; Police discretion; Police reform; Prosecution; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Suspect interrogation
Note: CONSULTATIVE PAPER
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65618

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