Who’s Who – Crown Court Participants
Who Are The Crown Court Participants?
This is the person charged with a criminal offence. The law presumes an accused person is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution.
The judge decides questions of law, sums up the case to the jury and sentences or discharges the accused. If the defendant is found guilty, the judge will decide the length of the sentence. If the defendant is found not guilty, they are discharged and no conviction is recorded against their name.
A jury is made up of a group of 12 randomly chosen members of the public who must decide whether the defendant is guilty.
Prosecution and defence barristers
If a defendant pleads ‘not guilty’, the prosecution and defence form opposing sides. The prosecution must show enough evidence to convince the jury that the defendant is guilty.
On the other side, the defence doesn’t have to prove the defendant is innocent but that the argument given by the prosecution isn’t strong enough to convince the jury of the defendant’s guilt.
Both sides call and examine witnesses, and present opposing versions of the case – strict rules govern how this is done.
Witnesses give evidence at trials. They can be a witness for the prosecution, a witness for the defence, an expert witness or a character witness.
The ushers take the oaths from witnesses and jury members. Witnesses promise to tell the truth and jury members promise to give the defendant a fair trial.
Press and public
Criminal trials usually take place in open court. This means members of the press and public are allowed into the court to see the court case proceed.
How we can assist
If you need specialist advice, then get in touch with 0161 477 1121 or email us for more details on how we can assist if you have specialist requirements regarding a case that is taken to the Crown Court.