Lay magistrates are otherwise known as Justices of the Peace. 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. 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. 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.
Specialized Courts “Specialized courts differ from traditional courts in that they focus on one type of offense or offender. Usually the judge plays an intensive supervisory role. Other criminal justice components (e.g., probation) and social services agencies (e.g., drug treatment) are involved and collaborate closely in case processing.” (Office of Justice Programs [OJP], 2008). High statistical correlations between offenders may demonstrate a need or possibility of specialized courts. These courts focus on the underlying issues behind the offending and try to cure it at it’s roots (NIJ, 2008).
In unusual attenuating factors, the court may depart from the sentence calculated according to the sentencing guidelines. A judgment may encompass time in jail, a fine to be paid to the government, and restitution to be paid to misdeed victims. The court's probation agents assist the court in enforcing any situation that are enforced as part of a criminal judgment. The supervision of lawbreakers also may engage services such as substance misuse checking and remedy programs, job counseling, and alternate detention options
They prosecute all adults who commit felonies and juveniles who commit delinquent crimes. Conjointly, the prosecutors have further responsibilities, such as legal adviser of the country commissioners, the Board of Elections, and written admonition of the prosecutors. Police In today’s justice system, law enforcement contributes a significant role in the prosecution of criminals. Police officials use searches and seizures to inspect and collect evidence to convict an individual for suspect of crime. Though, previous to a search taking place, there must be a prerequisite of probably cause, that is, evidence of an illegal act.
It also allows police to use body-mounted cameras when entering domestic violence scenes and record the situation to be used as evidence in court. Victims of sexual assault also have the right to have special arrangements made for them when they are giving evidence. Although the law has been progressive in protecting the rights of victims, issues have risen regarding the effects of social media on court evidence and witness statements. According to an ABC News article (23 January 2013), social media is said to be “tainting evidence.” Tony Kerin, president of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, stated that “social media is
(b). “Lay magistrates are the workhorses of the English legal system.” Despite being unqualified and unpaid they deal with a great deal of cases in the legal system. Lay magistrates tend to be middle-class, middle-aged and middle-minded and will have little in common with the young working-class defendants, who make up the majority of the defendants. While it is argued that they do not hear cases on their own, their workload is over whelming. They sit on as a bench of two or three magistrates, and their main function is to try minor criminal cases, as well as some civil function.
There are two courts for criminal cases, the magistrate's court and the crown court. In a magistrates court lay magistrates hear most cases normally in groups of three. Lay magistrates are part time, unpaid and do not need a legal qualification, however they are assisted by a legally qualified clerk who may advise if requested. Some, but very few cases may be heard by District |Judges. District judges are legally qualified, full time and paid, they sit alone and hear the longer and more difficult cases.
Magistrates The office of Justices of the Peace was first established over 600 years ago with the Justices of the Peace Act 1361 and Justices of the Peace or Lay Magistrates are essential to our legal system and try (or least deal with in some respect) 93% of all criminal cases and also perform an important function with regard to some civil areas. The role of the magistrates can be listed as follows:- Ø Trying summary offences Ø Trying offences triable either way where the accused elects for summary trial Ø Holding committal proceedings where the offence is TEW and the accused elects for jury trial. Ø Issuing summons, issuing search warrants and warrants for arrest. Ø Dealing with applications for bail Ø Dealing with applications for legal aid in criminal cases Ø Dealing with applications for licences such as firearms and liquor Ø Dealing with certain domestic matters such as maintenance orders etc. Ø Trying offences committed by youths in the Youth Court.
Some provinces and territories have domestic violence court programs. These programs provide services to victims. There are specific courts set up for certain offences. The object is to address the needs of non-violent offenders who are charged with criminal offences. Youth courts handle cases that have someone with the age of 12-17 is charged with an offence.
The maximum penalties that a Justice of the Peace can impose are either 60 days imprisonment or a fine of £2,500. The sheriff court deals with more serious offenses and can issue an unlimited fine as well as a maximum of 3 years imprisonment. The accused can face trial under either summary procedure or solumn procedure depending on the magnitude of the crime. Summary procedure means that only a judge will decided the outcome, whereas in solumn procedures a judge will determine issues of law and a jury will decide the outcome after it has determined the facts. The High Court of Justiciary is the superior criminal court in Scotland and deals with the most serious offences committed in society such as treason,rape and murder.