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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H00M45S

James Bennett, a local shopkeeper, was convicted in a magistrates' court of selling alcohol past permitted hours. Unconvinced by the fairness of the trial and adamant about his innocence, James decides to appeal the decision. He seeks clarification on the appellate process, specifically who will hear his appeal at the Crown Court. His lawyer, Edward Green, explains the composition of the court for his upcoming appeal.

Given James' situation and the nature of his conviction, who would preside over his appeal in the Crown Court?

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In the Crown Court, appeals against conviction following a trial in the magistrates' court are typically heard by a judge accompanied by two magistrates. This setup allows for a comprehensive re-evaluation of the case from both a legal and a community perspective, combining the detailed legal knowledge of the judge with the practical insights of the magistrates.

Key Points:

  1. Composition of the Appellate Court: The involvement of a judge ensures that legal precision is maintained, while the magistrates contribute community standards and practicality to the proceedings.

  2. Role of the Judge and Magistrates: The judge primarily focuses on points of law and procedural correctness, whereas the magistrates assist in evaluating factual determinations and the appropriateness of the original magistrates' decisions.

  3. Purpose of Appeal: Appeals in the Crown Court can result in the conviction being upheld, overturned, or the case being remitted back to the magistrates' court with instructions for re-trial or re-sentencing, reflecting a thorough review process.

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