Criminal Practice is designed to provide students with an in-depth exploration of the practical aspects of criminal law, procedure, and litigation. This course aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of criminal practice, from police investigations and prosecution to courtroom proceedings, sentencing, and appeals.
1. Criminal Procedure
The course commences with an examination of criminal procedure, providing students with a foundational understanding of the legal processes governing criminal cases. Students explore the stages from investigation to trial, emphasising the key principles that ensure fairness and justice in the criminal justice system.
2. Police and Prosecutors
This module focuses on the roles of law enforcement and prosecutors in the criminal justice system. Students examine the powers and responsibilities of the police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), and other prosecuting bodies. The module covers aspects of evidence gathering, charging decisions, and the prosecutor's duty to disclose information to the defence.
3. Criminal Litigation
Criminal litigation involves the legal processes leading to the resolution of criminal cases. This module explores the stages from arrest to trial, including the issuance of charges, bail considerations, pre-trial procedures, and case management.
4. Summary Criminal Trial
Summary criminal trials are expedited proceedings for less serious offences. Students explore the criteria for cases suitable for summary trial, the procedures involved, and the legal principles that guide the court's decision. This section also addresses the rights of the accused in summary proceedings.
5. Trial on Indictment
A trial on indictment is reserved for more serious criminal offences. This module provides an in-depth examination of the procedures involved in an indictment, including the role of the grand jury, pre-trial hearings, and the dynamics of a full-scale criminal trial.
Sentencing is a crucial aspect of criminal practice. Students explore the principles and considerations that guide sentencing decisions, including the range of available penalties, mitigating and aggravating factors, and the pursuit of rehabilitative and punitive goals.
The appeals process allows for a review of decisions made in criminal cases. This section covers the grounds for appeal, the appellate court's authority, and the procedures involved in challenging convictions or sentences. Students also explore the role of the Court of Appeal in criminal matters.
By exploring topics such as criminal procedure, police and prosecutors, criminal litigation, summary and indictable trials, sentencing, and appeals, students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for effective engagement with criminal practice.
Check out our exam-focused Criminal Practice notes now.