The Solicitor at Court: Plea and Mitigation

Mike McConville, Jacqueline Hodgson, Lee Bridges and Anita Pavlovic

in Standing Accused

Published in print February 1994 | ISBN: 9780198258681
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681851 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice

The Solicitor at Court: Plea and Mitigation

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This chapter addresses the determination of plea and sentence hearings. It also explains why there is a routine dependence on guilty pleas. It then explores the associated task of the solicitor in mitigating on behalf of the client. In addition, it assesses whether the court — its operational practices and assumptions — and the practices and values of the other professionals that defence solicitors have to work with on a daily basis, help to establish or reinforce a specific non-adversarial culture. The routine nature of work in most solicitors' offices is more than matched by the routinisation of their plea settlement and mitigation practices. For the most part, solicitors do not see magistrates' courts as trial venues but as places where defendants can be processed through guilty pleas without, in general, any risk of severe sanction.

Keywords: guilty plea; sentence hearings; defence solicitors; court; mitigation

Chapter.  13623 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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