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explain the rule of law under the magna carta

Under the rule of law, no person may be prosecuted for an act that is not punishable by law.

When the government seeks to punish someone for an offense that was not deemed criminal at the time it was committed, the rule of law is violated because the government exceeds its legal authority to punish.

All people are subject to and accountable to law that is fairly applied and enforced and no one is above the law.


what happens during arrest procedures

-taken to a police station

-held in custody

-be questioned either released or charged with a crime

-officer must have reasonable grounds


what happens At the police station (custody)

-get free legal aid

-phone call/ tell someone where you are

-get medical help if feeling unwell

-can ask to see the ‘codes of practice’

-see your rights in writing

-you will be searched, and Your possessions will be looked after by the custody officer

- Where you are under 18 or a vulnerable adult the police must try and contact your parent or guardian or carer. They must also find an appropriate adult to come to the station to help you and be present during questioning and searching (Fred West)

-right to a translator


explain PACE

-regulates police powers e.g. stop and search

-investigation procedures



explain what happens when Taking DNA

-police need your permission to take blood, urine and dental samples

-police must be authorised to take DNA by supervisor

- they can use reasonable force to do so.

-they do not need permission to take photos and fingerprints


explain what happens in interviews

-Police may question you on any crime they suspect you of

– it will be recorded

- you do not have to answer questions but there may be consequences the police must explain this to you by reading the police caution.

-Free legal aid includes having a solicitor present during an interview and questioning you must be informed of this right before questioning and once you have asked for legal aid you can’t normally be questioned until you have it the longest wait for legal advice is normally 36 hours .


explain the Conviction process

- must be done through a court:

-Magna carta- right to a fair trial.

-rule of law

-In a jury trial they can convict you, but in a judge trail only they can convict you of the crime.


explain the appeal process

-magistrates (summary offences-minor)

-crown court (either way and indictable offences- serious offences)

- If you are tried in a crown court you have no automatic rights of appeal e.g. if new evidence is found in a miscarriage e.g. Kirk Bloodsworth-new DNA evidence exonerated him from death row (first in America)

-if guilty they can appeal sentence/ verdict (if pleaded innocent)

-if you pleaded guilty you can only appeal your sentence.


what are the rights when reporting the crime

- the police must give you written confirmation, a crime reference number and the contact details of the officer dealing with your case. They must also tell you what is going to happen next in the case, assess what support you need, and finally ask if you wish to write a victim personal statement which you can then read out later in court.


what are the rights during the investigation

-if the police/CPS drop the case they must tell you too. You can ask them to review it if you disagree that decision the right to privacy if the police give the media any information about the investigation they would normally ask you first in cases of sexual assault or rape it’s against the law to publish and I think that could identify the victim.


what are the rights relating to trials

CPS must tell you when and where the trial will take place a witness care officer will support you before and During the trial and if the defendant is convicted and you will be able to read your victim personal statement out loud in court. After 24 hours your WCO (witness care officer) must tell you the sentence the offender received if I’m guilty and if they appeal the sentence or not.


explain the rights of vulnerable victims

these include: thousand and 18, those with a mental health condition or physical or mental disability. Those who are close relative of someone who has died as a result of the crime and those who have repeat being repeatedly victimised. As a vulnerable witness you are entitled to receive information more quickly given specialist advice and have the right to special help if you must give evidence.


explain the witness charter

standard of care for the witnesses provided by the police, CPS, court stuff etc. including that you will have a main point of contact through the process they will keep you informed of progress, measures to ensure that the court is a safe environment, and information about the court process in advance of giving evidence so witnesses know what to expect. This is not legally binding however so they only set out a level of service the witnesses should expect. The WCU(witness care unit) will support the witness through the process especially if you have to give evidence in court.


explain the complaints process

there are three types of complaints: legal – relating to legal decisions made by the CPS, service – relating to the way in which they have conducted themselves and mixed – contain both legal and service issues. A complaint can be made by you or on your behalf by a family member or friend a solicitor another professional etc. If you are a defendant or you have been convicted of the crime and want to appeal, then you cannot make a complaint.


explain the CPS process

the CPS is the main prosecution service for England and Wales. It was set up in 1986 under the prosecution and offences act 1985 and took over prosecuting roles from the police to prevent bias. The main role including that they advise police in investigations and about evidence and decide what charges should be brought and are responsible for presenting and preparing the case for court.


list some agencies that support the victim

West Mercia Women’s aid for victims of rape or sexual assault

-Victim care unit for victims

-Witness care unit for witnesses

-family liaison

- Criminal injuries Compensation Authority.