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  • Magistrates' Courts Criminal Practice 2014
Anti-social Behaviour: The New Regime Anti-social Behaviour: The New Regime

Your practical handbook for anti-social behaviour

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Magistrates' Courts Criminal Practice 2014


The essential handbook for any criminal lawyer

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Magistrates’ Courts Criminal Practice combines authority and practicality, providing step-by-step advice on a vast array of court procedures from cautions and commencements through to appeals, including a thorough treatment of the law and practice of evidence as it relates to the magistrates’ courts.

 In addition to the authors’ commentary, there is a comprehensive selection of up-to-date statutes, statutory instruments, rules, practice directions and other materials.

 Uniquely, there is a section setting out the elements of over 150 offences, providing the statutory definitions and relevant case-law, and over 100 procedural guides provide a step-by-step summary of the main procedures supported by references to the legislative framework and case-law.

 Magistrates’ Courts Criminal Practice 2014 includes:

 Updated Procedural Guides
  • Legal advice and representation – amended in light of the Legal Aid Agency created by Part 1 LASPO
  • Indication of Plea, etc. – guidance on new ‘Initial Details’ (previously ‘Advance Information’)
  • Youth Court – extensive amendments to include additional notes on scenarios where youth and adult are jointly charged with offences
  • Evidence – significant new guidance on hearsay evidence and bad character
  • Enforcement – amended in the light of changes to reparation orders
 Consolidated Statutory Materials and Latest Procedural Rules
  • Full text of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2013 and the new Criminal Procedure Directions, as well as updates to all statutory materials
 Sentencing Guidance
  • Full text of Sentencing Council Guidelines and relevant parts of the Youth Court Bench Book (2013)
  • All significant case-law developments, including: R v Tahery (hearsay evidence); R v Lodge, R v Dossett and R v Thompson (bad character); R (Purnell) (financial penalties); DPP v Fell (missing evidence); and R (Allan) v Croydon (anti-social behaviour orders)
   Magistrates’ Courts Criminal Practice is written by a team of advocates and court officials, making this a work by practitioners for practitioners.

Please note that non-UK mainland deliveries will incur an extra p&p charge.
Part I: Procedural Guides
Deals with the procedure of the court in 18 major sections, ranging from commencement of proceedings to sentencing and enforcement. The law and practice under each heading is explained through commentary and over 100 procedural guides. Relevant forms are also included

 Part II: Elements of the Offence
 A comprehensive and easy-to-use reference guide to over 150 of the main offences

 Part III: Statutes
 All relevant statutes are reproduced, in amended form, and annotated by the expert team of editors

 Part IV: Statutory Instruments
 All relevant SIs appear in amended form, annotated by the expert team of editors

 Part V: Criminal Procedure Rules and Practice Directions

 Part VI: Codes of Practice and Guidelines
Previous Edition Reviews

"acquiring a copy of this reliable and concise work of reference would almost without a doubt make the daily toils and tribulations of your practice a little easier. This completely updated guide from Jordans covers to the full spectrum of situations, challenges and problems you're likely to encounter on a day to day basis ... forever topical ... logically laid out ... this is a useful, thorough and eminently readable work of reference which offers... a range of extensive research resources, inculding tables of statutes, cases and statutory instruments, plus tables of practice directions, abbreviations and PACE practice directions."

Click here for the full review
 Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor, Richmond Green Chambers

"The Key word here is 'clarity' - ever a necessary but too often a rare attribute when it comes to legal texts - but evident in abundance in this comprehensive and authoritative volume recently published by Jordans."
Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor, Richmond Green Chambers

 "For clarity, ease of reference and razor sharp analysis, this book is essential for any criminal practitioner" 
 John Cooper, Criminal Law & Justice Weekly

"A book compiled by practitioners for practitioners. In providing clear procedural guides, backed up by statutory and case law references, and outlines of the elements of common offences (not to mention available defences), it allows advocates, Assistant Justices' Clerks and others whose work takes them into magistrates' courts to quickly check the essential legal features surrounding the case before the court with the minimum of effort. This is a book that succeeds in simplifying often complex issues, contributing to the drive for speedy justice, and it will prove an invaluable companion on the often tortuous road to understanding."

 Chris Armstrong, President Of The Justices' Clerks' Society And Clerk To the Justices In Cumbria

"thorough and well-presented, covering all the substantial areas of criminal work ...very readable"

 Solicitors Journal

"a sound investment"

 New Law Journal

"an excellent navigational aid ... for practice and procedure ... an essentail work of reference for all practitioners who routinely deal with cases in the magistrates' courts"

Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor, Richmond Green Chambers

 Changes in our substantive law and changes in our procedure are the hallmark of this first decade of this new century. The Magistrates Courts are at the very heart of these changes. So far the changes have made the law more complex rather than simpler, but at last attention is being given to the problems that arise from making what should be a summary procedure so complex.
 The Magistrates Courts must be able to ensure that the cases that come before them are dealt with as speedily as possible as is consistent with the interests of justice. This can be achieved through firm application by the court of the procedural code that is now in effect. A first hearing should, save in unusual circumstances be the occasion for a plea, and in the event of the case proceeding to trial, the next hearing should be the trial.

 This objective can be attained by the application of the principles of case management. One of the most important principles involves first identifying the issues relevant to the offence with which the defendant is charged and which have to be proved and then ensuring there is clarity about those that are agreed and those that are disputed. The future conduct of the case can then be carried out in a speedier, more focussed and economical manner.

 A clear understanding of the procedural code and of the myriad of statutory provisions is a necessary part of the realisation of this objective. It is not possible otherwise to deal swiftly and firmly with points that might at first sight have some semblance of technical legalism, but which on analysis, are in fact without merit.

 I therefore welcome a textbook that sets out with clarity the main areas of practice and procedure of the criminal jurisdiction of the Magistrates Courts. In applying any of these provisions, it is always wise to bear in mind the overriding objective set out in the Criminal Procedure Rules “that criminal cases be dealt with justly”.

 Lord Justice Thomas,
 Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales 

 March 2007

General Editor:

 Alessandro Roveri 
 Deputy Justices' Clerk, East and West Dorset and North and East Devon Magistrates' Court


 Juan Batchelor Solicitor, Senior Legal Adviser, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, Wiltshire
 Richard Bennett Barrister, Deputy Clerk to the Justices, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, Devon and Cornwall
 David Chidgey Barrister, Albion Chambers
 Matthew Donkin Barrister, Zenith Chambers
 Anesh Pema Barrister, Zenith Chambers
 Christopher Rose Barrister, New Park Court Chambers
 Richard Ward LLB Solicitor, Emeritus Professor of Public Law, De Montfort University
 Nicholas Wattam LLB Solicitor, Deputy Clerk to the Justices, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, Thames Valley; Deputy District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts)
 The latter weeks of 2013 saw some changes to the criminal law with the enactment of provisions contained in the Crime and Courts Act 2013, affecting offences committed on or after 11 December 2013. Among these was an amendment to section 177 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003: where a court considers that an offence is serious enough to merit a community sentence, it shall now include among the requirements one that is imposed for the purpose of punishment. If it does not, the court shall either impose a fine or fine the offender in addition to imposing the community order. Where the interests of justice suggest it is not appropriate to go down the route of punishment (be it in the form of a requirement or some form of fine) the court must explain why. In addition, in the magistrates’ court the current limit of £5,000 on any sum of compensation is removed (thus the limit on power to award compensation as a reason for magistrates to decline jurisdiction will cease to apply). Other than these recent developments, the law in this Edition is stated as at 1 January 2014.

 While not legislative in nature, practitioners will also need to be aware of two other publications which should be read together: ‘The Attorney General’s Guidelines on Disclosure’ and the ‘Judicial Protocol on the Disclosure of Unused Material in Criminal Cases’, published in December 2013. Aside from being important reading in their own right, these documents clearly relate to the overriding objective set out in the Criminal Procedure Rules. Paraphrasing, convicting the guilty and acquitting the innocent involves the protection of the right to a fair trial (relating as much to the prosecution case as the defence) and ensuring all participants to criminal cases meet their statutory duty to manage cases effectively. Despite the implementation of the first Criminal Procedure Rules in 2005, some (but not, I am sure, all) courts still encounter arguments that all witnesses should attend (even where their evidence may be uncontentious) and that the prosecution is put to ‘strict proof’. I suspect readers will find themselves wondering how anyone has the spare capacity in their diaries to accommodate unnecessary time in court! As I write, I have heard news of further training to deal with unnecessary delays. Given that – among other examples – I have been told of recent representations in court that the defence was to be ‘I wasn’t there but if I was it was self defence’, or that all six prosecution witnesses were required to attend for a day-long trial when the issue was whether one of these witnesses had correctly identified the defendant, it is regrettably hard to argue that further emphasis needs to be placed on the subject. No doubt we will hear more of these plans in the coming months.

I would like to end this introduction by expressing my gratitude to all of the contributors for the hard work they have undertaken in preparing this Edition, which I commend to you.

 Alessandro Roveri,
   Deputy Justices' Clerk, East and West Dorset and North and East Devon Magistrates' Court
February 2014

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