‘We do not believe that the examining magistrate is a real protection against overbearing police practices save in rare cases where physical brutality is involved. Furthermore, despite the fact that only ten percent of cases go before the juge d’instruction, the system is overburdened and works slowly. Discuss in relation to the English and French systems of criminal justice English criminal justice system cnsist f the 460 r s magistrates’ curts are the first layer f the curt structure and can be fund in mst twns. Each f these curts has a ‘bench’ which is staffed by magistrates wh are, in the main, part-time, unpaid laypersns. There are ver 30,000 lay magistrates, knwn as Justices f the Peace (JPs).
The fact that the vast majrity f criminal cases are judged by these nn-prfessinal, part-time members f the cmmunity prvides a unique aspect t the criminal justice system f England and Wales.
In additin t JPs, there are a small number, arund a hundred, f paid, legally qualified magistrates; nw knwn as district judges, until 2000 these prfessinal magistrates were called stipendiary magistrates. District judges are full-time members f the judiciary wh have the same pwers as benches f tw lay magistrates. They usually sit in the bigger, urban curts with particularly heavy caselads and tend t hear the lengthier and mre cmplex cases that cme befre magistrates’ curts. As well as district judges there are als deputy district judges wh sit in magistrates’ curts nt as full-time prfessinals but n a fee-paid basis – and wh can apply t becme district judges after serving fr a minimum f tw years r 40 days in curt. It is likely that there will be pressure t extend the prfessinal magistracy in the future (an issue we will return t when lking at the appintment and backgrund f the judiciary later in the chapter).
... In our society's criminal justice system, justice equals punishment. You do the crime, and you ... and we have good reason.We know our criminal justice system is broken and we don't know how ... the sense of hopelessness that many inmates have. A Justice Department report that in 1994, 67 percent of ... for their offenders. Society tells them this will bring justice, but it often leaves them feeling empty and ...
Hwever, in spite f this, it is imprtant t remember that the vast majrity f criminal cases in magistrates’ curts are heard by a lay, part-time judiciary. The main task of magistrates’ courts is to deliver ‘summary justice’ to people charged with less serious crimes, and to decide which cases are serious enough to be sent for trial by judge and jury in a crown court (or for sentencing in the crown court if the offender has pleaded guilty).
Having to send more serious cases to a higher court does not mean that magistrates have little power; they are able to send offenders to prison for up to six months (or 12 months when there are two sentences that are to run consecutively).
Furthermore, although they deal only with less serious crime, the huge bulk of crime is of a relatively minor nature, which means that the vast majority of all criminal cases (something in the region of 98 per cent) start and end with the magistrates’ courts. The great majority of defendants who come before magistrates’ courts plead guilty, with the magistrates then having to pass sentence (or, as mentioned, to send them to the crown court if the offence merits a more severe punishment than magistrates can give).
Those defendants who plead not guilty have the choice of trial by magistrates with no jury or of going to the crown court for a jury trial – however, there have been recent government moves to abolish the automatic right to a jury trial. Although not relating solely to magistrates’ courts, in early 2003 the standing committee on the current criminal justice bill were considering proposals to restrict the right to trial by jury for cases deemed too lengthy or complex for a jury and where there was a risk of jury tampering. There is no need to explain the difference between civil and criminal law: as in England, a sharp distinction is made between civil and criminal jurisdiction (juridiction repressive or penale, and juridiction civile).
... above in achieving reform of the criminal law varies. The weakness of the law reform commissions, courts and lobby groups is that they ... to their tenets. The Crimes Act makes illegal those actions against the person and property that contravene these rights. ... denunciatory function of the criminal law. The maintenance of trial by jury emphasizes the serious nature of the criminal offenses which are so ...
It is, however, a characteristic feature of French law that the victim of a crime can seek to get compensation in the criminal proceedings instituted either by the public prosecutor or by himself (Kahn-Freund et al, p.
This is known as action civile and the party who takes advantage of this principle is known as the partie civile. Action civile is distinguished from action publique (that is, criminal prosecution) and means civil action in the criminal court. The victim of a crime can of course also proceed in the civil court, but there are great advantages (especially with regard to evidence and proof) in making use of the action civile in the criminal courts, as the victim can utilize the evidence collected by the public prosecutor or the juge d’instruction. From the alternative possibilities of proceeding in the civil or in the criminal courts there arise difficult problems of detail, for example, of the need for staying actions or res iudicata etc. It follows that the student of French law will often find very important decisions on questions of the civil law (of delict, for example, on motor accidents) in the jurisprudence of the Chambre criminelle of the Cour de cassation. It has happened, for example in the law of damages, that the Chambre civile and the Chambre criminelle were at variance on important issues (French Inquisitorial System, Anon 2007).
In French common-law jurisdictions, although most crimes are also torts, there is no generalized power for the victim to sue for tort damages in the criminal prosecution.
Instead, in England and Wales statute permits any criminal court to require a convicted person to ‘pay compensation for any personal injury, loss or damage resulting from’ the offence. The court must have regard to the offender’s means (Powers of Criminal Courts Act 1973 S. 35 as amended.) Reference list Abraham, H. J., 1959, Courts and Judges: An Introduction to the Judicial Process: Oxford University: Oxford University Press Kahn-Freund, Levy, Rudden, Rudden, B., 1991, A Source-Book on French Law: Public Law–Constitutional and Administrative Law Private Law–Structure, Contract. Oxford University: Oxford, England. Publication Mishkin, P. J.
... ) Criminal actions do not require harm as a prerequisite. Criminal actions involve the breaking of laws and criminal offenses. The object of criminal actions is ... brought before local, state, or federal courts. (Criminal Cases, 2013) In criminal cases, the government brings charges against the ... will be charged with first degree murder in criminal court. First degree murder is when a person deliberately ...
and C. Morris, 1966, On Laws and Courts: An Introduction to Judicial Development of Case and Statute Study: Foundation Press Wikipedia, the Free Online Encyclopedia: French Inquisitorial System (Internet) Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inquisitorial_system [accessed 27 November 2007].