New rules and guidance have been published (for both Magistrates and Crown Court cases). Everyone must adhere to these rules.
The Transforming Summary Justice and Better Case Management initiatives are about making the Court process work better for all. This is done by reducing the number of hearings and making every hearing count, to ensure that witnesses, defendants and jurors have a more positive experience of the Criminal Justice System.
This will mean fewer but more effective hearings. It does mean that we need to be prepared and ready prior to the 1st hearing and your input is vital to the process.
What this means for you
Adjournments will be unusual.
Each hearing will have the aim of moving the case on, as far as possible. It should mean that you do not have to keep returning to court (as was common in the past).
- We are now have to contact the prosecution at very early stages in a case (even prior to the 1st hearing) to try and resolve any issues in dispute.
- Please stay in regular contact with us, attend all appointments and make sure we have your up to date contact details. We will need to discuss your case and the evidence against you and be prepared and ready for the 1st Courts are looking to make progress at the first hearing and are unlikely to grant unnecessary adjournments.
- If you are pleading Guilty the Court will try, wherever possible, to pass sentence the same day. You need to provide us with details about your personal circumstances and any character references so that we are ready to mitigate on your behalf at such hearings.
- if you are pleading Not Guilty the Court will want to know the issues in dispute (legal or factual), any agreed facts and witness details (including experts), to be able to timetable your case for trial. This is information that we will not have, if we were not at the police station with you.
Further detail about the rules can be found in the links below: