P4- Describe the Role of Lay People in Criminal Cases

1360 words 6 pages
P4- describe the role of lay people in criminal cases
D1- evaluate the effectiveness of lay people in English courts


Lay people are people who don’t get paid and who are not qualified; they are volunteer’s, lay people in the law are the magistrate and the jury and I will be explaining their role and the advantages and disadvantages of having lay people get involved with the legal system.

The Magistrate

A magistrate is some one who is not paid or is qualified and is only seen in the magistrate’s court which oversees summary criminal cases (magistrate hears about 96% of all criminal cases).

To become a magistrate you must apply however not everyone can apply, you can not apply if you have a criminal record, if
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However you can delay being in a jury if you have exams but afterwards the person would still have to go but if you lie about the reason you can’t be a juror are fined up to £1000. You will find a jury in the crown court but never in the magistrates court; the crown court hears criminal cases like rape, murder ect; a jury rarely hears civil cases. A jury normal consists of 12 people and to convict a person it needs to be beyond reasonable doubt which needs it needs to be 12 to 0, 11 to 1 or 10 to 2 for the person to go to jail. If it is below 10 people they would have to go back and discuss it or have a retrial with a new jury.

The jury’s role is to charge the prosecutor with guilty or not guilty, they hear the facts presented in court and then they go to a separate room where they discuss and decide if they are guilty or not, a trial normally lasts ten working days, the judge will help the jury by summing up the case and gives the jury information on the law which will help them make a decision and when they are discussing the verdict in the separate room they can not talk about to any one as to what was discussed.

When it comes to expenses if a juror is travelling to get to the court they will pay the travelling costs but not the money you would have had if you were at work; that is up to the employer and they don’t have to pay the juror as they are not at work.

The Coroners court is where they decide how they died this will then go to the police so