Sunday, January 02, 2005

Welcome to Summary Justice

Bystander is a lay magistrate in South-East England.

Unlike almost anywhere else in the world England and Wales have a court system where ordinary citizens who are not lawyers deal with most criminal cases, passing only about five percent, the most serious cases, up to the Crown Court to be dealt with. Even the worst crimes including rape and murder pass before magistrates on their way up to the higher courts, and it is magistrates who decide whether the accused is to be given bail or held in prison to await trial.

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