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Book

Cover Criminal Justice

Edited by Anthea Hucklesby and Azrini Wahidin

Criminal Justice provides a thought-provoking and critical introduction to the challenges faced by the UK's criminal justice system, including policing, sentencing, and punishment at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Expert contributors, including criminologists and lawyers, provide students with a critical introduction to issues, institutions, and agencies that shape the operation of the criminal justice system. The book provides students from a range of disciplines including criminology, law, sociology, psychology, and social policy with knowledge and understanding of the key areas of the subject and an appreciation of contemporary debates, policies, and perspectives. Each chapter features questions, summaries, tables, diagrams, annotated further reading, and weblinks to ensure the book is as accessible and engaging as possible, and provides clear guidance on further study. An illuminating glossary of key terms is also included. In this second edition: all chapters have been completely revised and updated; a new chapter has been included on the policy landscape of criminal justice; additional material has been incorporated into two chapters on the police and policing; and a new chapter on the criminal courts has been included, as have additional chapters on innovative aspects of criminal justice, and science and psychology in criminal justice. This title is accompanied by an Online Resource Centre containing an online version of the glossary of key terms and annotated web links.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Justice

5. Courts and the trial process  

Steven Cammiss

This chapter first considers the functions of the courts and questions whether there are other, more symbolic functions at play than finding the truth. It then outlines the court system, looking to both magistrates' courts and the Crown Court, and explores the composition of both courts, the types of cases that they deal with, and their role. To examine a particular decision made within the criminal courts, the chapter looks at the mode of trial decision. It concludes by asking whether the reality of the courts lives up to the rhetoric of trial by jury as the pinnacle of due process protections.