Court Report Essay
The basic division in the construction of condemnable tribunals is between the lower condemnable tribunals – the local tribunals. Children’s tribunal and Coroner’s tribunal – and the higher condemnable tribunals – the District Court and the Supreme Court. In detecting proceedings at the Local. District and Supreme Courts over a period of three yearss a figure of facets of the condemnable justness system were made apparent. The disposal. procedures and patterns of the condemnable test are highly varied dependant upon the degree of condemnable tribunal being observed.
The differentiations between the workings of the two tribunals revealed a figure of the differences between drumhead proceedings and test upon indictment. The instances observed served to supply grounds for the “two grades of justice” statement. Besides the function of the bench was perceived as being peculiarly interesting particularly the high degree of discretion that they held in the Local Courts and even to an extent in the District Court chiefly when there was no jury nowadays.
McBarnet’s treatment of the condemnable tribunal system focuses around the thought that the higher tribunals such as the District and the Supreme tribunals are for public ingestion in which the political orientation of justness is played up by the more luxuriant tribunal suites. frock. and stiff regulations of ceremonial. On the other manus the lower tribunals concentrate on control. The local tribunals handle the huge majority of instances with merely a little proportion of condemnable instances coming before the higher tribunals. For illustration the National division of instances between the lower and higher tribunals in 2003-2004 were 97 % finalised in the lower tribunals while merely 3 % were heard in higher tribunals.
Lower condemnable tribunals – Absence of legality In geting at the local tribunals. the waiting room was full of people who had been summoned to look for their hearing. It was noisy and highly busy. In detecting the waiting room it was obvious that people were ungratified and were dying to hold their instance heard. The bulk of instances were listed to get down by 10am and therefore depending on the velocity of the test procedure many people may hold had to wait hours before their instance could get down. There are no estimations of how long each affair will take and non even an effort to do a general clip allotment.
Mack and Anleu besides farther exemplify this construct. They said that primary aim is clip direction and ‘getting through the list’ for that twenty-four hours. In general. the whole procedure in the local tribunals was a batch less formal than was expected with several of the magistrates even halting proceedings to explicate the facts of the instance to the jurisprudence pupils. Although Pat Carlen in her survey of Magistrates Courts in England and Scotland described the tribunal as a really formal and ritualistic societal scene this is slightly surprisingly non what was observed during Local Court visits.
The tribunal observations were more in line with those of McBarnet in that the lower tribunals did non continue the stenosiss of “due process” and the political orientation of justness. In one peculiar commitment hearing that was observed in the Local Court. R 5 Sean Robert Kerr. the ambiance was relaxed and the magistrate and the prosecuting officer were in changeless treatment about the facts of the instance and the admissibility of grounds. The accused was alleged to hold transporting knife in public topographic point. This downplaying of the offenses to less serious charges supports the accent on efficiency that underlines McBarnet’s analysis.
Each clip the prosecuting officer made a claim the magistrate would inquire where the grounds came from. The magistrate was concerned with the nature of the grounds as they are required to find whether there is adequate grounds to perpetrate the accused for test as outlined under s 62 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986. It became obvious that they were short staffed and without a tribunal clerk when the magistrate held no expostulation to the prosecuting officer nearing the bench to subject grounds. This instance provides grounds for the procedure of the committal hearing and showing judicial discretion in make up one’s minding whether the instance should travel to test.
Other instances that were observed through tribunal visits further emphasised the nature of the judicial procedure in the Local Courts. The drumhead proceedings served in a figure of instances to underscore the pettiness of the procedure. Cases affecting minor offenses such as traffic offenses and junior-grade larceny were peculiarly fiddling nevertheless other instances such as domestic force and minor assault charges were non so inconsequential. They were of peculiar importance to the parties involved and it is therefore of import non to overgeneralize the procedure of the lower tribunals to being mere pettiness.
Whilst in the local tribunals there was an accent on velocity and efficiency. this did non automatically intend that rigorous legality was disregarded. The importance placed on grounds and burden on the prosecuting officers in supplying proof upheld of import elements of the condemnable justness system. Higher condemnable tribunal – Ideology of Justice On detecting the District Court a figure of differentiations from the Local Courts were instantly made apparent. Without traveling in to detail about the existent construction of the tribunals. they seemed to suit more closely with the traditional scheme of a typical courtroom.
In peculiar the larger courtrooms with more installations combined with the barristers and magistrates have oning their wig and robes seemed to immediately continue the political orientation of justness. It is interesting to observe how visual aspects can automatically supply an feeling that justness will be upheld. The suspects were observed to be sitting in the dock with the disciplinary services officer sitting by the side. This is in contrast to the local tribunals where the suspect normally sat near their legal representative. An interesting comparing can be made between the functions of the justice in instances where there was a jury nowadays and where there was non.
Trial by jury is seen as an indispensable component of our condemnable justness system. Juries are seen as a symbol of democracy and warrant of equity in a condemnable test nevertheless it is of import to observe that the bulk of condemnable tests are dealt with in the lower tribunals where juries are non available. Therefore by this simple fact the higher tribunals are continuing the “two tiers” analysis as they have the advantage of the jury test. an indispensable component in the political orientation of justness. In R V Veronica Salas Collard the jury was observed to be composed of eight work forces and four adult females of different ages and races.
This supports the position that a group’s ability to be impartial is best achieved by guaranting diverseness instead than uniformity. The function of the justice in jury tests was greatly diminished with the jury holding exclusive duty in make up one’s minding the facts of the instance and whether the accused is guilty or non guilty. The function of the jury to hear grounds was observed in the District Court. While detecting R V Jessica Nguyen the jury had been adjourned and so returned to re watch subdivisions of the constabulary interview tape with the suspect. The Judge so proceeded to inquire them if there was any more grounds that they wished to be reviewed.
Similarly in R v Danny Price every clip a new piece of grounds was submitted to the justice it was besides submitted to the jury. In peculiar during proceedings on the twenty-four hours observed a figure of exposure and diagrams were submitted to the jury. The justice asked the jury if the grounds was clear. The jury is therefore seen as a critical component of the condemnable test. A figure of bond and appeal hearings were besides observed. These were peculiarly interesting as it once more demonstrated judicial discretion. As opposed to when the jury was present the justice once more had sole discretion in finding whether bond or the entreaty should be allowed.
Section 26 of the Bail Act 1978 outlines the power of the territory tribunal to allow bond. In R v Steven Astill the suspect was accused of fraud and was granted bond with conditions that he was to describe hebdomadal to his local constabulary station on a hebdomadal base. The power of the bench to find proceedings was one time once more ascertained. There is nevertheless legislative assembly in topographic point which guides the tribunals to accomplish consistence in condemning. In general nevertheless judicial discretion may be seen as non continuing rigorous legality. the disposal and patterns of the territory tribunal condemnable test were much more in line with the political orientation of justness.
Therefore in detecting proceedings over a period of three yearss a figure of facets of the condemnable justness system were made apparent. In peculiar the differentiations between the lower and higher condemnable tribunals and the extent to which they could be seen to continue McBarnet’s “two tiers” analysis. From observation the lower tribunals did concentrate on more fiddling affairs and through their general nature emphasised efficiency. Furthermore the higher tribunal perpetuated the political orientation of justness through its very nature of continuing the traditional position of the tribunal procedure.