You must know section 52a of the Crime & Disorder Act 1998

Must know the difference between summary, either-way and indictable only offences in the magistrates court.

Procedure in either-way cases – there is an indication of plea hearing (plea before-venue) and mode of trial procedure (now known as allocation procedure)

Difference between indication of plea and formal plea.

Difference between ‘sending for trial’ and committal sentence.

EITHER WAY CASES – In English criminal law a hybrid offence is called a “triable-eitherway offence” and can be heard at either the Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court. The decision as to which court will hear the case is determined at a Mode of Trial hearing.

PLEA BEFORE VENUE – The Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 sections 17A- 17C 2, deals with the “plea before venue” procedure. 4. A defendant charged with an either way offence can plead guilty and be sentenced in the magistrates’ court, unless there is a committal to the Crown Court for sentence.

SENDING FOR TRIAL – In committal proceedings and transfers for trial, a case should not be committed or transferred unless you are satisfied that the criteria for prosecution contained in the Code for Crown Prosecutors have been met.



Crime & Disorder Act  1998 Section 52A reporting restrictions. These are AUTOMATIC restrictions which cover any case retaining potential jury trial.

Includes preliminary hearings at magistrates – including bail applications and hearings for ‘plea before-venue’ ‘mode of trial’ and ‘sending for trial’ procedures – in cases which retain potential for jury trial.

Automatic restrictions – unless lifted – for preliminary hearings for all indictable-only cases and some either-way cases. Includes any reference to evidence, any previous convictions, any other material with the potential to create prejudice.

You need t know what you CAN and what you CAN’T publish under these restrictions.


  • The name of the court
  • The name, age, home address and occupation of the accused
  • The charges in full or summarised
  • The names of the counsel and solicitors engaged in the proceedings
  • If proceedings are adjourned, the date and place to which they are adjourned
  • Arrangements as to bail – whether bail was granted or refused and any conditions and surety arrangement.


  • This includes
  • Any reference to the case
  • A defendant’s previous convictions
  • Any other material with potential to create prejudice such as reasons for refusal of bail
  • The concern is that people who read or hear information given at preliminary hearings may include some who months later will be called to be jurors in these cases


  • Defendant can ask for them to be lifted
  • Automatically cease to apply if and when, for either way charge, it becomes clear the defendant will be tried summarily
  • Magistrates decide there is insufficient evidence to commit to them for Crown Court trial
  • Automatically  expire when the proceedings against all defendants in the case have been concluded

By Enchanted Lifepath

Enchanted LifePath Independent News & Media Liverpool's Number 1 Alternative News Platform - Est. 2015 Freelance Investigative Journalist & Presenter. Enchanted LifePath News, Articles, Reports, Educational Films, Live Streams, Videos, Podcasts, Live Streams, and more.

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