Role Of Lay Magistrates Essay

Role Of Lay Magistrates Essay-69
It's critical to understand that the media and the press in particular make and break reputations, sensationalize issues and create moral panics.This we know and when it is concerned with sex offences the press are always assured to be controversial and to some extent, some would believe, over the top.

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The clerk’s duty is to guide the magistrates on the question of law, practice and procedure.

The clerk can not assist in the decision making and should not normally retire with the magistrates when they make their discisions.

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The Role and Powers of Lay Magistrates in Criminal Cases 1a) Describe the role and powers of lay magistrates in criminal cases.

Despite being lay members within the law, they try 97% of all criminal cases and deal with preliminary hearings in the remaining 3% of criminal cases, these involve Early Administrative Hearings, remand hearings, bail applications, sentencing and transfer proceedings.

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Lay magistrates also deal with commitals, magistrates can commit a defendant charged with a triable either way offence for the sentence to the Crown Court at the end of the case having heard the defendants past record, they feel that their powers of punishment are insufficent.Lay magistrates have a fairly wide discretion as to the sentence they select in each case although they are subject to certain restrictions.Magistrates can only impose a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment for one offence, the Criminal Justice Act 2003 allows this to be increased to twelve months, and a maximum fine of £5000.However, if a defendant admits guilt then the defense's role will be to seek a lenient sentence based on that omission.There are many stages of a criminal trial and at each one the CPS conceivably carries the majority of the burden.Clerks deal with ruotine admistrative matters such as issuing warrents for arrest, extend poilce bail, adhourn...; as a result, he spent nearly thirty years in prison for a crime he did not commit (BBC: 19/03/2009).Lay magistrates work is mainly connected to criminal cases although they also deal with some civil matters, especially family cases.Firstly, it is to be noted that lay magistrates only perform their duties about once a fortnight.For centuries the criminal justice system has allowed lay people; people who are not legally qualified to administer justice to the civilian population.Lay magistrates are otherwise known as Justices of the Peace.


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