House of Lords portcullis
House of Lords
Session 1999-2000
Internet Publications
Other Bills before Parliament
Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)

Criminal Justice (Mode of Trial) Bill [H.L.]
 
 

 
 
A

B I L L

TO

Make provision for determining the mode of trial in the case of offences triable either summarily or on indictment; and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
 

Determination of mode of trial.     1. The following shall be substituted for sections 19 to 22 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (offences triable either way: determination of mode of trial)-
 
 
"Court to consider mode of trial.     19. - (1) The court shall consider whether the accused ought to be tried summarily or on indictment.
 
    (2) For the purpose of subsection (1) above the court-
 
 
    (a) shall permit the prosecutor and the accused to make representations, and
 
    (b) shall have regard to any representations under paragraph (a) and to the matters specified in subsection (3) below.
      (3) Those matters are-
 
 
    (a) the nature of the case;
 
    (b) whether the circumstances make the offence one of serious character;
 
    (c) whether the punishment which a magistrates' court would have power to impose for it would be adequate;
 
    (d) whether the accused's livelihood would be substantially diminished as a result of conviction or as a result of punishment of a kind or magnitude likely to be imposed by the court on conviction;
 
    (e) whether the accused's reputation would be seriously damaged as a result of conviction or as a result of punishment of a kind or magnitude likely to be imposed by the court on conviction; and
 
    (f) any other circumstances which appear to the court to be relevant.
      (4) The court may be informed that the accused has a previous conviction and may be given details of the conviction if necessary-
 
 
    (a) to rebut or explain anything said by the accused, and
 
    (b) for the purpose of enabling the court to consider the matters specified in subsection (3)(e) above.
      (5) A justice of the peace who in reliance on subsection (4) above is informed that the accused has a previous conviction shall not participate in any of the following in respect of the offence-
 
 
    (a) a summary trial;
 
    (b) an inquiry into the information;
 
    (c) an appeal to the Crown Court.
Determination of mode of trial.     20. - (1) The court shall inform the accused of its decision following consideration of mode of trial under section 19 above.
 
      (2) Where the court decides that the accused ought to be tried summarily then, subject to the outcome of any appeal under subsection (4) below, the accused shall be tried summarily.
 
      (3) Where the court decides that the accused ought to be tried on indictment the information shall be inquired into by examining justices.
 
      (4) The accused may appeal to the Crown Court against a decision of a magistrates' court that he ought to be tried summarily if-
 
 
    (a) he made representations under section 19(2)(a) above that he ought to be tried on indictment, and
 
    (b) he complies with any applicable condition imposed by rules under section 144 below.
      (5) If the appeal is allowed the information shall be inquired into by examining justices.
 
Prosecutions by Attorney General, &c.     21. - (1) This section applies where a prosecution is being carried on by-
 
 
    (a) the Attorney General,
 
    (b) the Solicitor General, or
 
    (c) the Director of Public Prosecutions.
      (2) If the person carrying on the prosecution applies for the accused to be tried on indictment-
 
 
    (a) sections 19 and 20 above shall not apply, and
 
    (b) the information shall be inquired into by examining justices.
      (3) The Director of Public Prosecutions may not make an application under subsection (2) above without the consent of the Attorney General.
 
Summary trial for certain small-value property offences.     22. - (1) This section applies where the offence charged by the information is an offence listed in the first column of Schedule 2 to this Act (a "scheduled offence").
 
      (2) Before proceeding in accordance with section 19 above, the court shall consider whether the value involved in relation to the offence exceeds the relevant sum.
 
      (3) For the purposes of subsection (2) above-
 
 
    (a) the relevant sum is £5,000,
 
    (b) "the value involved" means the value identified in the relevant entry in the second column of Schedule 2,
 
    (c) the value shall be measured in accordance with the third column of that Schedule,
 
    (d) the material time mentioned in that Schedule shall be taken to be the time when the offence was alleged to have been committed, and
 
    (e) the court shall permit the prosecutor and the accused to make representations and shall have regard to any representations made by either of them.
      (4) If the court is satisfied that the value involved in relation to the offence exceeds the relevant sum, sections 19 to 21 above shall apply.
 
      (5) In any other case-
 
 
    (a) those sections shall not apply, and
 
    (b) the offence shall be treated as if it were triable only summarily.
      (6) Where a person is convicted by a magistrates' court of a scheduled offence, it shall not be open to him to appeal to the Crown Court against the conviction on the ground that the convicting court's decision as to the value involved was mistaken.
 
      (7) If the offence charged is one with which the accused is charged jointly with a person who has not attained the age of 18-
 
 
    (a) that person shall be entitled to make representations for the purposes of subsection (2) above, and
 
    (b) the court shall have regard to those representations.
      (8) If-
 
 
    (a) the accused is charged on one occasion with two or more scheduled offences and the court considers that they constitute or form part of a series of two or more offences of the same or a similar character, or
 
    (b) the offence charged consists in incitement to commit two or more scheduled offences,
  this section shall have effect as if a reference to the value involved were a reference to the aggregate of the values involved.
 
      (9) Section 12A(8) of the Theft Act 1968 (which determines when a vehicle is recovered) shall apply for the purposes of paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 to this Act as it applies for the purposes of that section."
 
Amendments and repeals.     2. - (1) Schedule 1 to this Act (minor and consequential amendments) shall have effect.
 
      (2) The enactments listed in Schedule 2 are hereby repealed to the extent specified.
 
 
previous section contents continue
 
House of Lords home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 1999
Prepared 19 November 1999