ADJOURNED/ADJOURNMENT – Case being postponed
until another date for any number of reasons by the court, does not
mean case has been dealt with.
A JUDGE – Person appointed to try cases in law
A MAGISTRATE - Civil officer administering and
enforcing the law. May have jurisdiction in civil/criminal cases or
BARRISTER - A member of the bar: a lawyer
entitled to represent clients in all the courts
COMMITTAL – Sending a defendant to a court
(usually from Magistrates to Crown Court). Committal proceedings
are heard at the Magistrates court before a case is then sent to be
tried (by a jury) in the Crown Court. Defendant can elect trial by
jury at the Crown Court or it can be sent by the Magistrates who
feel due to the nature of the offence it should go to the Crown
COURT CLERK – they are qualified lawyers who
advise magistrates about the law and legal procedures in Magistrate
Courts. They are also present at Crown Court proceedings, although
their role is not that of a legal advisor, but of a clerk.
COURT USHER – they make sure that all the
people connected with a case being heard in court are in the right
place and know what they have to do.
COUNSEL - A Barrister or solicitor in
CROWN PROSECUTION LAWYER - A lawyer who works
for the Crown Prosecution Service.
CROWN PROSECUTION SERVICE – Also known as
independent national body for the prosecution of defendants.
DEFENCE – Used by a defendant in legal
proceedings to present their side of the case in order to avoid
liability - civil or criminal.
DEFENDANT – A person who has been charged with
committing a crime.
GUILTY PLEA – Where the defendant admits to
having committed an offence. No trial is required.
NOT GUILTY PLEA – Complete denial of an
offence, which results in a trial being required at court.
OFFICER IN THE CASE - The Police Officer who is
responsible for your case.
PRE-SENTENCE REPORTS – Documents prepared by
the Probation Service to assist the court in sentencing a criminal
defendant after conviction. The reports usually consist of prior
convictions, prior arrests, employment history, education history,
family and social background.
PROSECUTION – The legal proceedings taken
against a defendant.
RECORDER – Members of the legal profession
(barristers or solicitors) who are appointed to act in a judicial
capacity on a part time basis. They may progress to become a full
REGINA ‘R v ‘– This is Crown versus….term used
on official correspondence and documents.
SPECIAL MEASURES – Only provided in certain
circumstances and enables a victim/witness to give better evidence
for example by the use of a screen/TV link and if a child witness
removal of wigs and gowns.
VICTIM LIAISON OFFICER - Employed by the
Probation Service to keep in contact with the victim of a crime,
when the defendant is sentenced to 12 months or more for a sexual
or violent offence.
VICTIM PERSONAL STATEMENT – Statement in which
a victim of a crime or victims family can explain how the
incident has impacted on their life emotionally, financially,
physically and mentally. It is optional.
VICTIM SUPPORT – This is the Independent
national charity that helps people cope with crime. There are local
branches across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Trained
volunteers offer someone to talk to in confidence, information on
court and police procedures, information about compensation and
insurance, help in dealing with other organisations and links to
other possible sources of help.
WITNESS CARE OFFICER - The person who will
contact you to ensure all of your practical needs are met for the
duration of the case.
WITNESS SERVICE – The Witness Service is in
every criminal court in England and Wales and is there to give
information and support to victims/witnesses/family and friends
when they go to court.