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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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The Solicitor at Court: Plea and Mitigation

The Solicitor at Court: Plea and Mitigation

Chapter:
(p.182) 8 The Solicitor at Court: Plea and Mitigation
Source:
Standing Accused
Author(s):

Mike McConville

Jacqueline Hodgson

Lee Bridges

Anita Pavlovic

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198258681.003.0008

This chapter addresses the determination of plea and sentence hearings. It also explains why there is a routine dependence on guilty pleas. It then explores the associated task of the solicitor in mitigating on behalf of the client. In addition, it assesses whether the court — its operational practices and assumptions — and the practices and values of the other professionals that defence solicitors have to work with on a daily basis, help to establish or reinforce a specific non-adversarial culture. The routine nature of work in most solicitors' offices is more than matched by the routinisation of their plea settlement and mitigation practices. For the most part, solicitors do not see magistrates' courts as trial venues but as places where defendants can be processed through guilty pleas without, in general, any risk of severe sanction.

Keywords:   guilty plea, sentence hearings, defence solicitors, court, mitigation

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