Court of Criminal Appeal (England and Wales)
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The Court of Criminal Appeal was an
English English usually refers to: * English language * English people English may also refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * ''English'', an adjective for something of, from, or related to England ** English national ide ...
appellate court A court of appeals, also called a court of appeal, appellate court, appeal court, court of second instance or second instance court, is any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal. In much of ...
for criminal cases established by the Criminal Appeal Act 1907. It superseded the
Court for Crown Cases Reserved The Court for Crown Cases Reserved was an England and Wales, English appellate court for criminal law, criminal cases established in 1848 to hear references from the trial judge. It did not allow a retrial, only judgment on a point of law. Neith ...
to which referral had been solely discretionary and which could only consider points of law. Throughout the nineteenth century, there had been opposition from
lawyers A lawyer is a person who practices law. The role of a lawyer varies greatly across different legal jurisdictions. A lawyer can be classified as an advocate, attorney, barrister, canon lawyer, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, solicitor, ...
,
judge A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a panel of judges. A judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the barristers or solicitors of the case, assesses the credibility an ...
s and the Home Office against such an appeal court with collateral right of appeal. However, disquiet over the convictions of
Adolf Beck The Adolf Beck case was a notorious incident of wrongful conviction by mistaken identity, brought about by unreliable methods of identification, erroneous eyewitness testimony, and a rush to convict the accused. As one of the best known causes ...
and
George Edalji George Ernest Thompson Edalji (22 January 1876 – 17 June 1953) was an English solicitor and son of a vicar of Parsi descent in a Staffordshire village. He became known as a victim of a miscarriage of justice for having served three years' ...
led to the concession of a new court that could hear matters of law, fact or mixed law and fact. Though the court was staffed with the judges who had shown such hostility (consisting of the Lord Chief Justice and eight judges of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court), it had a restraining effect on the excesses of prosecutors. During the period 1909–1912, there was an average of 450 annual applications for leave to appeal of which an average of 170 were granted. Of that 170, conviction was quashed in 20 percent of cases and sentence varied in another 22 per cent. Rulings of the court included limitation of the lower courts' ability simultaneously to try multiple defendants, multiple
indictment An indictment ( ) is a formal accusation that a legal person, person has committed a crime. In jurisdictions that use the concept of felony, felonies, the most serious criminal offence is a felony; jurisdictions that do not use the felonies concep ...
s and disparate counts within an indictment. The ability of the prosecution to introduce further evidence after the close of the prosecution case was curtailed as were several prejudicial practices with a defendant's previous
criminal record A criminal record, police record, or colloquially RAP sheet (Record of Arrests and Prosecutions) is a record of a person's criminal history. The information included in a criminal record and the existence of a criminal record varies between coun ...
. Further, trial judges' ability to invade the jury's role as
trier of fact A trier of fact or finder of fact is a person or group who determines which facts are available in a legal proceeding (usually a trial) and how relevant they are to deciding its outcome. To determine a fact is to decide, from the evidence prese ...
came under scrutiny, as did the practice of insisting that the defence proceed even in the case of an inadequate ''prima facie'' case by the prosecution. The Court also did much to refine and systematise the
law of evidence The law of evidence, also known as the rules of evidence, encompasses the rules and legal principles that govern the proof of facts in a legal proceeding. These rules determine what evidence must or must not be considered by the trier of f ...
. On 1 October 1966, the Court of Criminal Appeal was superseded by the Criminal Division of the
Court of Appeal of England and Wales The Court of Appeal (formally "His Majesty's Court of Appeal in England", commonly cited as "CA", "EWCA" or "CoA") is the highest court within the Courts of England and Wales#Senior Courts of England and Wales, Senior Courts of England and Wal ...
.Lord Mackay of Clashfern (ed.) (2002) ''Halsbury's Laws of England'', 4th ed. Vol.10 (Reissue), "Courts", 634 'Divisions of the Court of Appeal'


References


Bibliography

*{{cite book , author1=Cornish, W. , author2=Clarke, G. , title=Law and Society in England 1750-1950 , location=London , publisher=Sweet & Maxwell , year=1989 , isbn=978-0-421-31150-3 , pages=619–623 , ref=cornishclarke *Davies, S. (1949) ''Journal of the Society of Public Teachers of Law'' (new series) 425
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotland, Wales and North ...
Former courts and tribunals in England and Wales Criminal law of the United Kingdom Legal history of England 1907 establishments in the United Kingdom 1966 disestablishments in the United Kingdom Courts and tribunals established in 1907 Courts and tribunals disestablished in 1966