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Have we missed the reintroduction of ‘peine forte et dure’ in the criminal courts?

The purpose of admissions is being manipulated to the prosecution's benefit. John Cooper QC writes

31 May 2016

The announcement on 4 April this year that new Criminal Procedure Rules will encourage courts to 'invite' defence counsel to make opening statements 'approved' by the court and delivered to juries to isolate issues in conflict between the prosecution and the defence is just part of a trend in the criminal courts, a trend which has little to do with court process and more to do with polishing the ability of the Crown to effectively present their case to a tribunal of fact.

Another such trend - more implemented by practice than by the creation of rules - is the developed use of admissions in the court process.

To begin with, a reminder of the purpose of admissions: they are designed to avoid the need of presenting the same evidence orally before the court. If the fact is not challenged, it is an efficient use of court time and that of the witness to reduce the matter to writing, which ...

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