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Standing AccusedThe Organization and Practices of Criminal Defence Lawyers in Britain$
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Mike McConville, Jacqueline Hodgson, Lee Bridges, and Anita Pavlovic

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198258681

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198258681.001.0001

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Solicitors, Barristers, and the Crown Court

Solicitors, Barristers, and the Crown Court

(p.239) 10 Solicitors, Barristers, and the Crown Court
Standing Accused

Mike McConville

Jacqueline Hodgson

Lee Bridges

Anita Pavlovic

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the basis of instructing barristers in Crown Court cases. The findings reveal that with some exceptions the structural disengagement of solicitors from the preparation of the defence case which was a central feature of magistrates' court work is even more marked for Crown Court cases. In these cases, there is both greater delegation to non-qualified staff and greater utilisation of staff with little or no qualifications or experience. Thus, the Crown Court is the end point of a process in which the solicitor is deeply implicated. Lack of preparation through reliance upon imperfect and inadequate information in preference to independent investigation often sets up cases for disposition by way of a guilty plea. A central purpose of most conferences is to persuade the defendant of the likelihood of conviction and of the advantages of a guilty plea. The most common techniques, which are explained, involve manipulating the defendant's psychological outlook in terms of four states of mind: defeatism; optimism; fear; and trust.

Keywords:   barristers, solicitors, Crown Court, counsel, defendants

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