WELL I NEVER KNEW THAT! – 60+ QUESTIONS POSED AND ANSWERED IN 60 MINUTES – WEDNESDAY 28th APRIL 2021 – 16:00 – 17:00 – Cost – £60 inclusive of VAT (£50 plus £10 VAT)

 

A change with this month’s ZOOM presentation. The notes will consist of the 60 questions posed. I will pose 60 legal questions and give you the answers in this 60-minute session. We shall have to rattle through the answers – you will know whether or not this is a presentation for you as I have posed the questions in the contents section below – on the one hand, it’s just a bit of fun whilst being quite serious and useful at the same time – you can test yourself – how many of the questions posed do you think you can answer (with confidence and the legal authority!) – If you’re not sure, this is going to be 60 minutes well spent and, even if you cannot make the presentation itself, it will be a useful recording to have.

It will also be a very useful presentation for those wishing to apply for any sort of judicial appointment.

AS THERE ARE NO NOTES AS SUCH TO ACCOMPANY THE PRESENTATION (JUST THE FULL LIST OF THE 60+ POSED QUESTIONS) I HAVE QUOTED THE RELEVANT LAW AS PART OF THE QUESTION ITSELF – IMPORTANT THAT LAWYERS ALWAYS HAVE AN AUTHORITY FOR WHAT THEY SAY!

When you have looked at the first 30 questions you must ask yourself how you are doing – be honest!

THE NOTES AND THE EMAIL WITH THE LINK TO THE PRESENTATION WILL BE SENT OUT THE DAY BEFORE THE ACTUAL PRESENTATION

THE SESSION WILL BE FULLY RECORDED AND YOU CAN HAVE IT AS A USEFUL RESOURCE ON YOUR COMPUTER/TABLET/SMART-PHONE

Content

  1. Is theft by way of shoplifting where the value is £200 or below under Section 22A of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 an either-way offence or a summary offence? – important because of Section 127 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980

  2. What is the minimum period of a conditional discharge under Section 80 of the Sentencing Act 2020 and in what circumstances might this knowledge be very useful to you as an advocate?

  3. What is the minimum period of disqualification from driving under Section 34 (2) of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 and would it be the same if you were successful in an argument under Section 35 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988?

  4. Why might a disqualification from driving of 56 days or more be problematic for the defendant in the future? – See Section 35 (2) of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 – see also Section 34 of the same Act and the guidance issued by the Sentencing Council in relation to drugs and driving (as opposed to alcohol) – guidance issued on 1st November 2016

  5. In what circumstances does a conditional discharge count as a conviction and in what circumstances does it not count as a conviction – see Section 82 of the Sentencing Act 2020?

  6. Can you apply for something to be re-opened in the Magistrates’ Court under Section 142 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980   pre-conviction? – See also Rule 44 of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2020 (as amended) – see also the case of The Queen on the application of Lucy Poskitt and Reading Magistrates’ Court [2018] EWHC 984 (Admin)

  7. What 3 types of sentence can a Crown Court Judge impose upon an ‘offender or particular concern’? – What sentence can a Crown Court Judge no longer impose upon such an offender? – See Sections 265 (offenders aged 18, 19 or 20) and 278 (offenders aged 18+) and Schedule 13 of the Sentencing Act 2020

  8. What is the important legal distinction between an extension of a period of disqualification from driving under Section 35A of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 and an adjustment of a period of disqualification from driving under Section 35B of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (now contained in Section 166 of the Sentencing Act 2020)?

  9. What is the rehabilitation period for a caution administered at the police station? – is the period any different if conditions are contained within the caution? – see Chapter 8 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 which amended the Schedule at the back of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

  10. How long would a sentence have to be in order for the offender to have the chance (it is purely discretionary) of early release under the Home Detention Curfew Scheme? – See Section 246 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003

  11. The defendant has just been sentenced to a term of 4 months imprisonment in the Magistrates’ Court – assuming the defendant is not released early under the Home Detention Curfew Scheme, how long will this defendant serve in custody? – What will be his position in terms of licence and supervision under the Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014 post release? – What, if any, changes have been made to the Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014 by the Sentencing Act 2020?

  12. What, if any, is the rehabilitation period of a Referral Order? – see Chapter 8 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 which amended the Schedule at the back of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

  13. What is the ‘trigger’ whereby an offender has to comply with the Notification Periods set out in Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003? – that which we colloquially refer to as the ‘sex offender register’ – see Section 82 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and also Schedule 3 of the Same Act

  14. What is the relationship between Schedule 3 and Schedule 5 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003? – See Chapter 2 of the Sentencing Act 2020 – Sections 343 – 358 (Sexual Harm Prevention Orders)

  15. What is the period on the sex offender register, assuming the pre-requisites are met, for an adult (18+) offender accepting a caution in the matter at the police station stage – see Section 82 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003?

  16. What are the only legal circumstances in which the Magistrates’ can return an alternative verdict? – See Section 24 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988

  17. Is the seriousness of the offence itself a ground for withholding bail under the Bail Act 1976? – See the various Parts to Schedule 1 at the back of the Bail Act 1976

  18. In what 2 circumstances in law are the Magistrates’ obliged to at least consider the imposition of a mandatory minimum sentence of custody (imprisonment or detention in a young offender institution) when dealing with an adult offender aged 18+ – see Chapter 7 of the Sentencing Act 2020 – Sections 311 – 320

  19. What are the crucial ways in which an Extended Determinate Sentence imposed upon an adult (18+) dangerous offender differs from an ordinary Determinate Sentence? – See Chapter 6 Sections 306 – 310 and Schedules 18 and 19 of the Sentencing Act 2020

  20. Where the Court is considering the imposition of the mandatory minimum sentence in a ‘strike’s case’, (second time possession of a knife or bladed article or offensive weapon) (third time supply of Class A drugs) (third time domestic burglary), what is the position concerning credit for a timely guilty plea? – See Section 144 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 – see also Chapter 7 of the Sentencing Act 2020

  21. The offender is before the Court facing charges of rape, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault – could all 3 offences be SENT to the Crown Court under Section 51 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998?

  22. What is the minimum term of Imprisonment under the former Section 132 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 – now 229 of the Sentencing Act 2020? – What about Detention in a Young Offender Institution under the former Section 96 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 – see now Section 263 of the Sentencing Act 2020? – What about a Detention and Training Order under the former Section 1 of one of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 – see now Section 236 of the Sentencing Act 2020?

  23. When something is sent out by an ordinary post, what does Rule 4 of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2020 (as amended) say in terms of the date upon which the Court may assume receipt?

  24. In what circumstances would it be improper of the Magistrates’ to proceed to try the defendant in absence – assuming, of course, that he was aware of today’s trial date? – see Section 11 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 and in particular sub-section (2A)

  25. What did the Justices’ Clerks’ Society document (‘Allocation to the Crown Court – Guidance and Good Practice – February 2021) say about splitting the trial and having a trial at the Crown Court (involving the adult) and having a trial in the Youth Court (involving the child)? – see Section 24 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 and Section 51 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 – see also the case of R (DPP) v East Surrey Youth Court ex parte Ghanbari

  26. What is the maximum financial penalty that may be imposed by Magistrates’ when dealing with a Level 5 offence? – See Section 122 of the Sentencing Act 2020 – you may recall the important amendment made by Section 85 of LASPO

  27. What is the maximum amount payable under a compensation order in the Magistrates’ Court? – See Chapter 2 of the Sentencing Act 2020 – Sections 133 – 146

  28. What credit might a defendant be entitled to where a guilty plea has been entered and the Court has required a Newton hearing and at that hearing the facts are found in favour of the prosecution? – See the document published by the Sentencing Council – ‘Reduction in Sentence for a Guilty Plea – Definitive Guideline’ – 1st June 2017

  29. What, according to the Court of Appeal, is the current test for dishonesty in criminal law – see the case of David Barton/Rosemary Booth and the Queen [2020] EWCA Crim 575

  30. Where the defendant appears in the Magistrates’ Court and is subject to a strikes rule (3rd strike burglary or 3rd strike supply of Class A drugs) is it possible for the defendant to enter a guilty plea and thereafter be committed for sentence? – See the case of R v Walton [2019] EWCA  905

  31. Would it be legally possible for a person to be remanded in custody where they have attended quite properly on the Requisition? – [2020] EWHC 452 (Admin) (I deliberately haven’t named the defendant because this was an ongoing case at the time)

  32. What, according to the Sentencing Council, is the percentage reduction that the Judge should consider when sentencing a child or young person? – See the document on the Sentencing Council website – ‘Overarching Principles – The Sentencing of Children and Young People’

  33. You see a client as the Court Duty Solicitor – he has been charged with driving whilst disqualified in Tesco’s car park – he is a disqualified driver – has he committed an offence? – See Section 103 of the Road Traffic Act 1988

  34. In what circumstances may a disqualification from driving be imposed upon a defendant convicted of driving whilst disqualified? – Ordinarily, as you know, the offence attracts 6 penalty points – see Section 34 (2) of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988

  35. The defendant has entered guilty pleas to multiple summary-only offences – the pleas are entered at the very first hearing – how much credit is the defendant entitled to? – See the document published by the Sentencing Council in relation to ‘Reduction in sentence for a guilty plea: Definitive guideline’ – available on the sentencing Council website and published with effect from 1st June 2017

  36. How do you know whether or not you have one case or more than one case when you come to bill your Magistrates’ Court case(s)?  – see Paragraph 10.69 of the 2017 Standard Crime Contract Specification document (January 2021)

  37. How old is a Child when it comes to sentencing according to the Sentencing Council?

  38. How old is a Young Person when it comes to sentencing according to the Sentencing Council?

  39. If Section 154 of the Criminal Justice Act 2000 ever comes into force, what will be the maximum sentencing powers of the Magistrates’ for one either-way offence? – Be careful when reading such things as the Fraud Act 2006 or the Voyeurism (Offences) Act 2019

  40. What is significant about the caution administered to a defendant when the police are conducting a post-charge interview? – See Paragraph 16.5 of Code C of the Codes of Practice issued under PACE

  41. Why is it important that you have a working knowledge of the concept of the ‘Persistent Offender’? – See the document on the Sentencing Council website – ‘Overarching Principles the Sentencing of Children and Young People’

  42. What is the extent of the disclosure of the case that should be provided to the legal adviser at the police station stage in order that adverse inferences may be drawn from any relevant ‘no comment’ replies? – see the case of R v Howell [2003] EWCA 01

  43. Explain the legal significance of Sections 36 and 37 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994?

  44. How do Sections 36 and 37 differ materially from (or to, if you prefer) Section 34 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994?

  45. Is low-value criminal damage (or low-value damage aggravated vehicle taking) an either-way offence or a summary offence under Section 22 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980?

  46. What is significant about a disqualification from driving imposed under Section 36 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 and why might it be said that this is not really a proper disqualification at all?

  47. In which Chapter of the Sentencing Act 2020 will you find the sentencing aspects of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988?

  48. What is Rule 44 of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2020 (as amended) all about?

  49. What is the ‘trigger’ whereby the Crown is obliged to consider their duties by way of disclosure of unused material in a Magistrates’ Court case? – Rule 15 of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2020 (as amended) deals with Disclosure

  50. What is the ‘trigger’ whereby the Crown is obliged to serve upon the defendant (or the defence lawyers in the case) the evidence upon which they would seek to connect in a Magistrates’ Court case?

  51. What is the ‘trigger’ whereby the Crown is obliged to serve the initial details of the prosecution case (IDPC)? – see Rule 8 of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2020 (as amended)

  52. Within what period of time must the defendant provide the Crown with such details as are known to him of any defence witnesses he proposes to call at the trial? – see Section 6C of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996

  53. What are the sanctions upon the defendant who fails to comply with the duty imposed under Section 6C of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996? – Could the Court refuse to hear the witnesses?

  54. In what circumstances are you now able to claim a fee of £181.40p on your Magistrates’ Court files? – see Statutory Instrument 2020 No.903 which amended the position for Representation Orders granted on or after 19th October 2020

  55. In what circumstances can the Advocate and the Litigator now claim for reading unused material on a case sent to the Crown Court that does not result in a Guilty Plea? – See Statutory Instrument 2020 No.903 which amended the position for Representation Orders granted on or after 17th September 2020

  56. What are the sentencing powers of the Crown Court Judge when dealing with the sentencing of summary offences under Section 23 of the Sentencing Act 2020 where the Magistrates’ have committed the defendant to the Crown Court for sentence on offences under Section 20 of the Sentencing Act 2020?

  57. Can a Child or Young Person be committed from the Youth Court to the Crown Court for sentence on any either-way offence? – See Section 16 of the Sentencing Act 2020

  58. Can a Crown Court Judge remit a Child or Young Person to the Youth Court for trial? – See Section 25 of the Sentencing Act 2020

  59. Would the position on remittal of the Child or Young Person to the Youth Court for trial be any different if you were in the Adult Magistrates’ Court? – See Section 24 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 and Section 51 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998

  60. What is your understanding of a ‘first instance’ warrant and in what circumstances might a ‘first instance’ warrant be applied for under Section 1 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980?