Solicitors, Barristers, and the Crown Court

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

Solicitors, Barristers, and the Crown Court

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This chapter discusses the basis of instructing barristers in Crown Court cases. The findings reveal that with some exceptions the structural disengagement of solicitors from the preparation of the defence case which was a central feature of magistrates' court work is even more marked for Crown Court cases. In these cases, there is both greater delegation to non-qualified staff and greater utilisation of staff with little or no qualifications or experience. Thus, the Crown Court is the end point of a process in which the solicitor is deeply implicated. Lack of preparation through reliance upon imperfect and inadequate information in preference to independent investigation often sets up cases for disposition by way of a guilty plea. A central purpose of most conferences is to persuade the defendant of the likelihood of conviction and of the advantages of a guilty plea. The most common techniques, which are explained, involve manipulating the defendant's psychological outlook in terms of four states of mind: defeatism; optimism; fear; and trust.

Keywords: barristers; solicitors; Crown Court; counsel; defendants

Chapter.  14603 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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