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Criminal Justice - Legal Terms

Legal Terms Glossary

ABSOLUTE DISCHARGE

The court takes no further action against an offender, but the offender's discharge will appear on his or her criminal record. May be given by court after a finding of guilt or confession in exceptional circumstances, or for trivial or minor misdemeanours. No penalty or punishment imposed.

ACCUSED

The person charged. The person who has allegedly committed the offence

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SERVICE

Form of reply to, or confirmation of, service of process

ACQUITTAL

Discharge of defendant following verdict or direction of not guilty

ACTIVITY REQUIREMENT

The offender must participate in specified activities at specified places in accordance with the instructions of a designated officer on a number of days (not exceed 60). They are aimed to improve basic skills. The specific places must be a community rehabilitation centre or a place approved by the local Probation Board as providing suitable facilities for activity requirements. Potential activities may include Employment, Training and Education, counselling in debt and financial management, or mediation between the offender and the victim or persons affected by the offending.

ACT

Law, as an act of parliament

ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE

Any statements that did not form part of the committal papers – usually served on the defendant under Section 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967. Often photographs/plans are served in this way and are accompanied by a statement producing them (that is a statement from the photographer or plan drawer stating that he took the photos/drew the plans).

ADJOURNED GENERALLY

Temporary suspension of the hearing of a case by order of the Court (maybe for a short period, eg to next day or without a date being given).

ADJUDICATION

Judgment or decision of a Court or tribunal

ADVOCATE

A barrister or solicitor representing a party in a hearing before a Court

AFFIRMATION

Declaration by a witness who has no religious belief, or has religious beliefs that prevent him/her taking the oath, that the evidence he/she is giving is the truth

A.K.A

Also Known As, an alias or pseudonym, some defendants give false names upon arrest.

ALCOHOL TREATMENT REQUIREMENT

Only made by the court where the requirement is deemed suitable, necessary, and where the offender expresses a willingness to comply. The offender must submit to treatment that must last for at least 6 months by, or under the direction of a specified person, having the necessary qualifications or experience, with a view to the reduction or elimination of the offender's dependency on alcohol.

ALIBI

A defence by an accused person that he was elsewhere at the time the crime was committed or the evidence given to prove this.

ALIBI WARNING

Formal warning to the defence, read out at the magistrates’ court after committal, that they must notify the prosecution within 7 days of committal, of any alibi they intend to call in defence of their client at the Crown Court trial.

ALIBI NOTICE

Formal notification to prosecution of defence alibi. If received late prosecution can refuse to accept it and defence would have to seek leave of the judge to call alibi evidence. In practice it is normally accepted even when very late, as the judge usually gives leave to admit.

ANTECEDENTS

A document containing the personal life history and previous convictions of a defendant in a criminal case, for example, their employment, domestic situation

ARRAIGNMENT

A term used to describe the process of bringing the defendant before the Crown Court to answer the charges against him, i.e. to plead guilty or not guilty.

ANTE

Before - An indication within text to refer to an earlier passage

APPEAL

Application to a higher Court or authority for review of a decision of a lower Court or authority

APPEAL COURT

The higher court to which cases are sent when either the defence or prosecution wish to challenge the result from a Magistrates or Crown Court.

APPELLANT

Person who appeals

ARREST

Lawful detention by a police officer.

ASSISTED PERSON (LEGALLY)

A party to legal proceedings who is receiving legal aid

ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS

An order that directs an employer of a debtor to deduct regolarly an amount, fixed by the Court, from the debtor's earnings and pay that sum into Court

ATTENDANCE CENTRE REQUIREMENT

The offender must attend at a specified centre at a specified time for between 12 and 36 hours. During this period they will be required to participate in physical training and a programme of activities, which are designed to assist offenders acquire or develop personal responsibility, self-discipline and skills.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Government Minister responsible for prosecutions and the Crown Prosecution Service.

BAIL

Release of a defendant from custody, until his/her next appearance in Court, subject sometimes to security being given and/or compliance with certain conditions

BAR

The collective term for barristers

BARRISTER (see COUNSEL; SILK)

A member of the bar: the branch of the legal profession which has rights of audience before all Courts

BENCH WARRANT

A warrant issued by the magistrates or judge for an absent defendant to be arrested and brought before a Court either on bail or in custody

BIND OVER

In the Crown Court or (more usually) the Magistrates Court, and signed by an officer of the Court

BIND OVER FOR SENTENCE

An order which requires the defendant to return to Court on an unspecified date for sentence. Failure to observe this order may result in a forfeit or penalty to be enforced

BOUND OVER TO KEEP THE PEACE

The offender is bound over in a sum of money for a certain time period. If the offenders is subsequently convicted of a new offence committed during this time period, the court will order him/her to pay the sum of money in addition to sentencing them for the new offence.

BRIEF

Written instructions to counsel to appear at a hearing on behalf of a party prepared by the solicitor and setting out the facts of the case and any case law relied upon

CASE CONFERENCE

A meeting between a solicitor and/or barrister and their client

CASE NUMBER

A reference number allocated to each case by the court or other criminal justice organisation

CAUTION

  1. Simple Caution – non-statutory warning given to adults (18+) by the police, following admission of guilt, as an alternative to prosecution, which though not a conviction forms part of a person's criminal record
  2. Conditional Caution - warning under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (with reparative and/or rehabilitative conditions attached), given by the police after a CPS decision to issue and following admission of guilt, to adults (18+) as an alternative to prosecution, which though not a conviction forms part of a person's criminal record
CERTIFICATE OF LEGAL AID COSTS

A certificate of costs allowed following taxation by a judicial or taxing officer (Previously referred to as an Allocator)

CHAMBERS

  1. Private room, or Court from which the public are excluded in which a District Judge or Judge may conduct certain sorts of hearings
  2. Offices used by a barrister
CHARGE

A formal accusation against a person

CIRCUIT JUDGE

A judge who sits in the Crown Court

CIVIL

Matters concerning private rights and not offences against the state

COMMISSIONER OF OATHS

Solicitors authorised by the Lord Chancellor to administer oaths and affirmations to a statement of evidence

COMMITTAL

  1. Committal for Trial: Following examination by the Magistrates of a case involving an either way offence the procedure of directing the case to the Crown Court to be dealt with
  2. Committal for Sentence: Where the Magistrates consider that the offence justifies a sentence greater than they are empowered to impose they may commit the defendant to the Crown Court for sentence to be passed by a judge
  3. Committal Order: An order of the Court committing someone to prison
  4. Committal Warrant (see WARRANT OF COMMITTAL)
COMMON LAW

The law established by previous cases decided

COMMUNITY ORDER

A Community Order is a sentence that combines punishment, rehabilitation (making the offender face up to, and deal with, problems that may be causing them to commit crime), help and control, and it will include one or more 'requirements'. The possible 'requirements' available are as follows:

  • UNPAID WORK REQUIREMENT
  • ACTIVITY REQUIREMENT
  • PROGRAMME REQUIREMENT
  • RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT

COMMUNITY PENALTIES

Alternatives to prison, community punishment, non-custodial options, Community sentences Sentences of the court which deal with the offender in the community rather than in prison. These include community punishment, community rehabilitation orders and drug treatment and testing orders.

COMMUNITY PUNISHMENT AND REHABILITATION ORDER

Between 40-240 hours of unpaid work for the community, alongside a programme of work designed to deal with the offending behaviour and personal improvement supervised by the Probation Service. Offenders will undertake unpaid labour in their own time and for the benefit of the community, supervised by a Probation Officer, and for a period of 40-240 hours. If the offender fails to undertake this work they can be taken back to court where they may be re_sentenced for the original offence(s), or face a fine for the breach.

COMMUNITY PUNISHMENT ORDER

Community Punishment (formerly a Community Service Order) is a community sentence in which offenders work unpaid for up to 240 hours on local community projects under close supervision.

COMMUNITY REHABILITATION ORDER

Community Rehabilitation (formerly a Probation Order) is a community sentence which involves regolar contact with the Probation Service. May also include attending an Offending Behaviour Programme to tackle the reasons why the crime was committed. The offender will be under the supervision of a Probation Officer who will work with him/her to try to prevent him/her from re_offending. The order will include an element of reparation or other interventions to rehabilitate the offender. If the offender fails to comply with the order they can be taken back to court where they may be re_sentenced for the original offence(s), or face a fine for the breach.

COMPENSATION

Sum of money to make up for or make amends for loss, breakage, hardship, inconvenience or personal injury caused by another

COMPENSATION ORDER

A court order requiring the offender to pay compensation to the victim.

CONCURRENT SENTENCE

A direction by a Court that a number of sentences of imprisonment or community penalty shoold run at the same time

CONDITIONAL CAUTION

See CAUTION

CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE

A discharge of a convicted defendant without sentence on condition that he/she does not re-offend within a specified period of time. This is a criminal record and it is designed to serve as an incentive to prevent re- offending. No penalty is imposed, unless the offender re-offends during the stated period. If the offender is convicted of committing any other offence during the time of the Conditional Discharge then, in addition to the sentence for that offence, he/she can be re-sentenced for the offence(s) of this case.

CONDUCT MONEY

Money paid to a witness in advance of the hearing of a case as compensation for time spent attending Court

CONSECUTIVE SENTENCE

An order for a subsequent sentence of imprisonment or community penalty to commence as soon as a previous sentence expires. Can apply to more than two sentences

CONTEMPT OF COURT

An offence, punishable by imprisonment, of disobedience or wilful disregard to the judicial process

CONVICTION

When an offender has pleaded or been found guilty of an offence in a court he or she is said to have been convicted. The conviction then appears on the offender's criminal record.

CORROBORATION

Evidence by one person confirming that of another or supporting evidence, for example forensic evidence (bloodstain, fibres etc) in murder cases

COUNSEL

A Barrister

COUNT

An individual offence set out in an indictment

COURT

Body with judicial powers (see also COURT ROOM)

COURT OF APPEAL

Divided into:

  1. civil and,
  2. criminal divisions and hears appeals:
  3. from decision in the High Court and County Courts and,
  4. against convictions or sentences passed by the Crown Court
COURT ROOM

The room in which cases are heard

CRIME REPORT

The form filled out at a police station when a crime is reported. It gives details of the crime, i.e. the time it reported, by whom, the location, etc.

CRIMINAL

Person who is guilty of a criminal offence

CRIMINAL CASES REVIEW COMMISSION

Public body responsible for investigating alleged miscarriages of justice.

CROWN COURT

The Crown Court deals with all crime committed or sent for trial by Magistrates Courts. Cases for trial are heard before a judge and jury. The Crown Court also acts as an appeal Court for cases heard and dealt with by the Magistrates

CROWN PROSECUTION SERVICE (CPS)

The Crown Prosecution Service decides whether there is enough evidence to take a case to court, and whether it woold be in the public interest. After the decision to prosecute has been taken the CPS lawyer or solicitor represents the CPS in court.

CURFEW ORDER

A curfew order is similar to house arrest. People must stay indoors, usually at their home, for the curfew period. A tag, worn on the ankle or wrist, notifies monitoring services if the offender is absent during the curfew hours.

CURFEW REQUIREMENT

The offender is required to remain at a place specified by the Court for certain periods of time (which can be between 2 hours and 12 hours every day). Curfew Orders are designed to structure an offender's life and break patterns of offending. In order to ensure they are complied with the offender will normally have to wear an electronic tag.

CUSTODIAL SENTENCES

Sentences where the offender is locked up in a prison, Young Offender Institution or Secure Training Centre.

DE FACTO

In fact - "As a matter of fact"

DEFENDANT

Person sued; person standing trial or appearing for sentence.

DEPARTMENT FOR CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS

The department in government responsible for upholding justice, rights and democracy.

DETENTION AND TRAINING ORDER

Part of the sentence is served in detention, and the remainder in the community, under the supervision of Social Services or the Probation Service A planning meeting is held within five working days of the sentence to establish what work the offender will do whilst in custody, and subsequently in the community.

DISCHARGE

The offender is found guilty of the offence, and the conviction appears on his or her criminal record, but either no further action is taken at all(absolute discharge, or no further action is taken as long as the offender does not offend again in a certain period of time (conditional discharge).

DISCONTINUANCE

A decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to continue with a case

DISTRICT JUDGE

A legally qualified person who sits in place of, or with magistrates. Previously known as a stipendiary magistrate

DIVISIONAL COURT

The Divisional Court of the Queen's Bench Division deals largely with certain appeals on points of law from many Courts

DOCK

Enclosure in criminal Court for the defendant on trial

DRUG REHABILITATION REQUIREMENT

Only made by the court where the requirement is deemed suitable, necessary, and where the offender expresses a willingness to comply. The Drug Rehabilitation programme can last between 6 months and 3 years and involves drug testing with regular reviews by the court on the progress of the offender.

DRUG TREATMENT AND TESTING ORDER (DTTO)

A sentence for drug users who receive treatment for their drug use and have to give regolar urine tests to make sure they are not using drugs.

EARLY GUILTY PLEA (EGP) SCHEME

Cases entered into the EGP scheme allow Defendants to make early guilty pleas, where appropriate, so Defendants can take advantage of the sentence reductions that are available for early guilty pleas. The objective of the early guilty plea (EGP) scheme is to provide a procedure whereby cases may be brought before court for an early hearing at which both arraignment and sentence will take place. Cases which plead guilty at an EGP will qualify for the maximum appropriate sentence reduction.

EITHER-WAY OFFENCE

(see INDICTABLE OFFENCE, SUMMARY OFFENCE) An offence for which the accused may be tried by the magistrates or by committal to the Crown Court to be tried by jury

ELECTRONIC MONITORING

An offender or person on bail, on a curfew order or Home Detention Curfew at the end of a prison sentence, has an electronic tag. The tag, worn on the ankle or wrist, notifies monitoring services if the offender is absent during the curfew hours.

EXCLUSION REQUIREMENT

An Exclusion Requirement bans the offender going to a particular place or area (and is for a period which the Court will specify which can be up to two years). The offender will normally have to wear an electronic tag during this period.

EXHIBIT

Item or document used as evidence during a Court trial or hearing

EXPERT WITNESS

Person employed to give evidence on a subject in which they are qualified or have expertise.

FINE

A sentence of the court which involves the offender paying money to the court as punishment for their crime.

Guilty Plea

A plea entered by the defendant to the court admitting to the offence charged.

HIGH COURT

A civil Court which consists of three divisions:

  1. Queen's Bench (can be known as King's Bench Division if a King is assuming the throne) - civil disputes for recovery of money, including breach of contract, personal injuries, libel/slander
  2. Family - concerned with matrimonial maters and proceedings relating to children, eg wardship
  3. Chancery - property matters including fraud and bankruptcy
HER MAJESTY'S COURTS SERVICE

Her Majesty's Courts Service administers the civil, family and criminal courts in England and Wales. This covers Crown, county and magistrates' courts.

HIGH COURT JUDGE

see JUDGE and HIGH COURT

HOME DETENTION CURFEW (HDC)

A prisoner serving a sentence of between 8 months and 4 years can be released up to 90 days early under strict curfew arrangements and wearing an electronic tag.

HOME OFFICE

Government department responsible for all national issues such as crime and immigration

INDICTABLE OFFENCE

A criminal offence that can only be tried by the Crown Court. The different types of offence are classified 1, 2, 3 or 4. Murder is a class 1 offence

INDICTMENT

A written statement of the charges against a defendant sent for trial to the Crown Court, and signed by an officer of the Court

JUDGE

An officer appointed to administer the law and who has authority to hear and try cases in a Court of law

JUDGMENT

Final decision of a Court

JUDICIAL/JUDICIARY

  1. Relating to the administration of justice or to the judgment of a Court
  2. A judge or other officer empowered to act as a judge
JUROR (see JURY)

A person who has been summoned by a Court to be a member of the jury

JURY

Body of 12 people sworn to try a case and reach a verdict according to the evidence in a Court

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE

A lay magistrate - person appointed to administer judicial business in a Magistrates Court. Also sits in the Crown Court with a judge or recorder to hear appeals and committals for sentence

JURISDICTION

The area and matters over which a Court has legal authority.

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE

A lay magistrate - person appointed to administer judicial business in a Magistrates Court. Also sits in the Crown Court with a judge or recorder to hear appeals and committals for sentence

JUVENILES

Juveniles are under 18 years old.

LAW

The system of roles established by an act of parliament, custom or practice

LAW LORDS

Describes the judges of the House of Lords who are known as the Lords of Appeal in ordinary.

LAWYER

General term used to describe barristers (who usually work in the Crown Court and Appeal Court) and solicitors.

LEGAL AID

Facility for the fees and expenses of counsel, solicitors or other legal representatives retained by those of modest means to be paid from a fund administered by the Legal Aid Board

LIE ON FILE

An offence not admitted to by a defendant may be allowed to lie on file if the judge agrees that there is sufficient evidence, but it is not in the public interest to have a trial, as the defendant has admitted other offences, and a further conviction would make no difference to the sentence imposed. If an offence is left on file, it can in theory, be reinstated at a future date, but only with leave of the trial judge or Court of Appeal.

LISTING QUESTIONNAIRE

This form is used to ensure that all issues are resolved and that the parties are ready for trial

LORD CHANCELLOR

The cabinet minister who acts as speaker of the House of Lords and oversees the hearings of the Law Lords. Additional responsibilities include supervising the procedure of Courts other than Magistrates or Coroners Courts and selection of judges, magistrates, queens counsel and members of tribunals. The Lord Chancellor is also the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs.

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE

Senior judge of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) who also heads the Queens Bench Division of the High Court of Justice)

LORD JUSTICE OF APPEAL

Title given to certain judges sitting in the Court of Appeal

MAGISTRATE

Someone who sits as part of a group of three and acts as a judge in the Magistrates court. Magistrates in England and Wales are trained volunteers.

MAGISTRATES' COURT

A Court where criminal proceedings are commenced before Justices of the Peace, or District Judges, who examine the evidence/statements and either deal with the case themselves or commit to the Crown Court for trial or sentence

MENS REA

A guilty intention; the knowledge of the wrongfulness of the act being carried out; what is in the mind of the offender. All offences require actus reus to be proved and most require mens rea to be proved.

MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT REQUIREMENT

The offender must submit to treatment by, or under the direction of, a medical practitioner and / or a chartered psychologist with a view to the improvement of their mental condition. Treatment may be as a resident patient of a care home or hospital; as a non-resident patient at a hospital where 'high security' psychiatric services are provided; or under the direction of a medical practitioner and/or a chartered psychologist.

MITIGATION

The explanation for the offence given on behalf of a guilty party in order to excuse or partly excuse the offence committed in an attempt to minimise the sentence

MODE OF TRIAL

This arises when an offence can be tried in the magistrates’ court of the Crown Court, an either way offence. Before the case can proceed to trial the magistrates must decide if they are willing to hear it. If they are, the defendant then has the choice of trial by jury or trial in the magistrates’ court.

NEWTON HEARING

A Newton hearing is a fact finding procedure used where (a defendant pleads guilty and) the defence and prosecution offer conflicting evidence relating to factual issues that a judge, sitting alone, must rules on. The factual issues are important when deciding the appropriate sentence in the case. (R v Newton [1983] Crim LR 198)

NOTARY PUBLIC

Someone who is authorised to swear oaths and certify the execution of deeds

NOTIFIABLE OFFENCE

Offence deemed serious enough to be recorded by the Police. Includes most indictable and triable-either-way offence.

OATH (see AFFIRMATION)

A verbal promise by a person with religious beliefs to tell the truth

OFFENDER

Someone who has been convicted of a crime.

OFFENDERS OF PARTICULAR CONCERN

The sentencing regime for offenders of particular concern in provided in Sections 236A and 244A and Schedule 18A of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. They can only be used for certain extremely serious crimes including terrorism offences and serious sexual offences against children under 13. For offenders sentenced under this regime to be released on licence, the parole board must be satisfied that they no longer pose a danger to the public.

OFFENDING BEHAVIOUR PROGRAMME (OBP)

A programme of work undertaken with an offender which is designed to tackle the reasons or behaviour which leads to his or her offending. Examples of Offending Behaviour Programmes are: Substance-related Offending; Drink Impaired Drivers; Aggression Replacement Therapy; Sex Offender Treatment Programme; Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme.

ORDER

A direction by a Court

PAGINATE

To number the pages.

PLEA

A defendant's reply to a charge put to him by a court; ie guilty or not guilty. A guilty plea means the defendant, without pressure, freely admits committing the offence charged against them. A plea of not guilty means the defendant challenges the prosecution’s case and every element of the offence must be proved. If the defendant first pleads not guilty and then has a change of mind and pleads guilty, the charge must be re-put and a formal verdict taken. If the defendant first pleads guilty and then changes to a plea of not guilty, the charge must be re-put and a formal verdict taken. If the defendant first pleads guilty and then changes to a plea of not guilty, this will only be allowed with the leave of the court.

POST

After - An indication to refer to something to be found further on

PRECEDENT

The decision of a case which established principles of law that act as an authority for future cases of a similar nature

PRE-TRIAL REVIEW

A preliminary appointment at which the magistrates or District Judge consider the issues before the Court and fixes the timetable for the trial.

PROBATION SERVICE

The National Probation Service's work with offenders combines continuous assessment and management of risk and dangerousness with the provision of expert supervision programmes designed to reduce re-offending.

PROGRAMME REQUIREMENT

The offender must participate in an accredited programme at a specified place on a certain number of days. Programmes are aimed at changing the offender’s behaviour. Examples of the types of programmes used in appropriate cases are Anger Management programmes and Domestic Violence programmes.

PROHIBITED ACTIVITY REQUIREMENT

The offender may be banned from certain activities at a range of places in order to prevent unwanted behaviour, e.g. attending football matches, entering public houses, approaching pre-specified, or types of, people without approval from the case manager.

PROSECUTION

The institution or conduct of criminal proceedings against a person

PROSECUTOR

Person who prosecutes - usually the Crown Prosecution Service (see PROSECUTION)

QUASI

As if - Any person exercising powers similar to those of a judge would be sitting in a Quasi-Judicial capacity

QUEEN'S COUNSEL

Both experienced solicitors and barristers may apply to become queen's counsel.QCs undertake work of an important nature and are referred to as 'silks' which is derived from the Courts gown that is worn. They will be known as king's counsel if a king assumes the throne.

REASONABLE DOUBT

The standard of proof in criminal courts in the UK is that the case is proved 'beyond reasonable doubt'. The Crown Prosecutor must prove 'beyond reasonable doubt' that the defendant committed the offence.

RECORDER (also Assistant Recorder)

Members of the legal profession (barristers or solicitors) who are appointed to act in a judicial capacity on a part time basis. They may progress to become a full time judge.

REFRESHER FEE

A fee paid to counsel in addition to the brief fee for each attendance at court after the first day of trial.

REMAND (IN CUSTODY)

The accused person (defendant) is kept in custody or placed on bail pending further Court appearance(s).

RE-OFFEND

When an offender commits a new crime after being convicted of a previous offence.

RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT

The offender must live at a specified place. It may be an approved hostel or other institution.

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

This may involve a meeting between the offender and victim, with a mediator, where the victim can tell the offender how the offence has affected them, and the offender has the chance to make amends directly to the victim of the crime.

RIGHT OF AUDIENCE

Entitlement to appear before a Court in a legal capacity and prosecute or defend proceedings on behalf of a party to the proceedings

SECURE TRAINING CENTRES (STC's)

STCs are purpose-built centres for young offenders up to the age of 17. They are run by private operators contracted by the Home Office.

SERVICE

Delivery by post or personal service of the case, or other court documents

SILK

Queens Counsel, a senior barrister sometimes referred to as a leader or leading counsel (See QC)

SIMPLE CAUTION

See CAUTION

SOLICITOR

Member of the legal profession chiefly concerned with advising clients and preparing their cases and representing them in some Courts. May also act as advocates before certain Courts or tribunals

SPECIAL CUSTODIAL SENTENCES FOR OFFENDERS OF PARTICULAR CONCERN (SOPC)

The sentencing regime for offenders of particular concern in provided in Sections 236A and 244A and Schedule 18A of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. They can only be used for certain extremely serious crimes including terrorism offences and serious sexual offences against children under 13. For offenders sentenced under this regime to be released on licence, the parole board must be satisfied that they no longer pose a danger to the public.

SPECIMEN CHARGES/COUNTS

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will include Specimen charges in an Indictment to accurately reflect the course of conduct over the period in question. The prosecution will select allegations which, as far as possible, represent the start and end of the conduct as well as suitable allegations during the period in question ensuring the charges selected reflect the seriousness of the offence, give the court adequate sentencing power and enable the case to be presented clearly to the court.

STATEMENT

A written account by a witness of the facts of details of a matter.

STATUTORY INSTRUMENT

A document issued by the delegated authority (usually a Government Minister or committee) named within an act of parliament which affects the workings of the original Act

STIPENDIARY MAGISTRATE

A legally qualified and salaried Magistrate - now called a District Judge

SUB JUDICE

In the course of trial - Whilst a court case is under consideration. Proceedings are sub-Judice and details cannot be disclosed

SUMMARY OFFENCE (see INDICTABLE, EITHER WAY OFFENCE)

A criminal offence which can only be tried by a Magistrates' Court

SUMMING-UP

A review of the evidence and directions as to the law by a judge immediately before a jury retires to consider its verdict

SUMMONS

Order to appear or to produce evidence to a Court

SUMMONS (JURY)

Order to attend for jury service

SUMMONS (WITNESS)

Order to appear as a witness at a hearing

SUPERVISION REQUIREMENT

The offender must attend appointments with a designated 'Offender Manager', which are to promote the offender's rehabilitation. Typical ways in which this happens are through counselling, undertaking work and modelling Pro Social behaviour.

SURETY

A person's undertaking to be liable for another's non-attendance at Court

SUSPENDED SENTENCE

A custodial sentence which will not take effect unless there is a subsequent offence within a specified period

SUSPECT

A person being investigated in relation to a particular offence or offences.

TAGGING

An offender or person on bail, on a Curfew Order or Home Detention Curfew at the end of a prison sentence, has an electronic tag. The tag, worn on the ankle or wrist, notifies monitoring services if the offender is absent during the curfew hours.

TAXATION

An examination of a solicitor's bill in civil proceedings by a Court to ensure that all charges against the legal aid fund are fair and reasonable (see also PARTY AND PARTY COSTS which are also examined by a Court)

TRIAL WINDOW

A period of time within which the case must be listed for trial

UNDISCLOSED MATERIAL

Statements taken from witnesses on which the prosecution does not intend to rely and other material in prosecution possession which is not disclosed to the defence. There are very strict rules governing the instances when the prosecution is allowed to withhold such material. Such decisions should only be taken by a prosecutor and should be recorded on the file. Seek advice if problems arise.

UNPAID WORK REQUIREMENT

The offender must complete an amount of hours of unpaid work within 1 year (unless extended on application to the Court by the Officer who is overseeing the work). The work involves demanding and constructive activities.

UNUSED MATERIAL

Statements or other material that do not form part of the prosecution case and are, therefore, not in committal volumes.

ULTRA VIRES (See INTRA VIRES)

Beyond the power - An act that falls outside or beyond the jurisdiction of the court

VERDICT

The finding of guilty or not guilty by a jury

VICTIMS SURCHARGE

Section 161A (1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 requires a court, when dealing with a person for one or more offences, to order the person to pay a surcharge. Following the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Surcharge) Order 2012 (SI No. 2012/1696) the amount of surcharge paid by a Defendant upon conviction will vary depending on the sentence imposed. For offenders aged 18 or over the surcharge will range from a minimum of £15 (conditional discharge) to a maximum of £120 (life imprisonment). For offenders under 18, the surcharge will range from £10 to £20 and for Companies, it will range from £15 to £120. In cases of a mixed disposal, where the defendant is dealt with in different ways (e.g. a fine for one offence and custody for another) only one surcharge will be paid and the amount will be the higher of the possible options.

The surcharge will be payable in the following amounts when the court deals with a youth by way of any of the following disposals:
a) a conditional discharge at £10;
b) a fine, a Youth Rehabilitation Order or Referral Order at £15; and
c) a custodial sentence of any length at £20.

WITNESS

A person who gives evidence in Court (see also EXPERT WITNESS).

YOUNG OFFENDER INSTITUION

A prison for young people between the ages of 15 (16 for girls) and 21. Young offenders have to be kept separately from adults, and juveniles (under 18s) separate from 18-21s.

YOUNG OFFENDERS

Young Offenders are from 18 to 21 years old.

YOUTH OFFENDING TEAM (YOT)

A Youth Offending Team is made up of local representatives from the police, Probation Service, social services, health, education, drugs and alcohol misuse and housing officers. The YOT identifies the needs of each young offender. It identifies the specific problems that make the young person offend as well as measuring the risk they pose to others. This enables the YOT to identify suitable programmes to address the needs of the young person with the intention of preventing further offending.

   

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