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Chapter

Cover The Criminal Process

11. The trial  

This chapter focuses on the criminal trial itself which is the focal point of criminal procedure. The rules governing trials therefore shape the decisions made by the police and prosecutors. The trial remains important because defendants’ decisions on whether or not to plead guilty are often informed by what they believe to be the probability of conviction. The chapter considers the courtroom processes and raises questions about the roles of judge and jury. The chapter also discusses the modes of trial; the Crown Court trial; and confrontation and the protection of witnesses all of which are closely connected to issues of procedural fairness.