Plea and case management hearing

This is always heard at crown court and is the first hearing after committal.

The purpose of the Plea and Case Management Hearing is to make sure that the correct procedure has been followed and it is at this time that the judge will decide if enough information is available for a date for the trial to be arranged. It will be the role of the judge to manage the case so that it can progress.

The indictment will be read out and the defendant or defendants will be asked if they plead guilty or not guilty to each count. If the defendants plead guilty sentencing may take place straight away or there could be a request for an adjournment for reports to be produced. If the defendant pleads guilty to only some of the counts and not guilty to other counts (or if a co-defendant pleads not guilty) sentencing will usually be adjourned until the other matters have been dealt with. If the defendants plead not guilty both the prosecution and the defence will have to inform the court of any relevant details including such things as how may witnesses they will be calling, details of any formal admissions and exhibits. The court will be given an estimate of how long the trial is likely to take and when counsel and witnesses will be able to attend the court.

The judge will give directions to enable the case to be brought to trial as soon as possible and dealt with fairly.

 

THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE RULES 2010

Criminal Procedure Rules - Crown Prosecution Service

 

Guidance Notes for Plea and Case Management ... - Ministry of Justice

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