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The Criminal Courts - Procedure and Sentencing

The Criminal Courts - Procedure and Sentencing

Magistrates' courts are a key part of the criminal justice system and 97% of cases are completed there. In addition magistrates' courts deal with many civil cases e.g. anti-social behaviour, public health and are responsible for the enforcement of fines and community punishments. Where cases required a penalty greater than magistrates’ sentencing powers, cases will be sent to the Crown Court.

The Crown Court deals with more serious criminal cases such as murder, rape or robbery, some of which are on appeal or referred from magistrates' courts. Trials are heard by a Judge and a 12 person jury. Members of the public are selected for jury service or may have to go to court as witnesses. Crown Court cases originate from magistrates' courts. The Crown Court also hears appeals against decisions of magistrate's courts.


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