Practice questions

Magistrates Courts

True or false: adults who are charged with murder appear in the magistrates’ court.

A: ____________________

Crime, courts and tribunals

Private prosecution? True or false: any member of the public can prosecute a case in the courts.

A: ______________________________

Crown courts

True or false: a person who was released from prison 13 years ago can serve on a jury – if there are no other issues.

A: _________________________

Hearings prior to jury involvement: if a defendant intends to plead not guilty. What, for journalists, is automatic in such hearings?


Majority verdicts: criminal trials must be proved beyond if only ten jurors think a defendant is guilty of murder, a judge can decide to accept this. In this case, the defendant is convicted and the jury is hung. True or false?

A: _______________________

Sentencing at a Crown court: before deciding on punishment in a case, a judge may ask to hear mitigation. What is this?

A: ________________________

Open justice

Why is open justice vital to society? Give two reasons.

A: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Five marks:

What kind of organisations use data protection as a reason not to release information to the media? What arguments can journalists use to challenge this – and when might they have to accept it? If they need to formally challenge refusal, who can they appeal to?

A ______________________________

Ten marks:

The lecturers’ union at Coventry University is campaigning against the system used to assess staff performance (yes, they really do this). They are worried about what information is being kept on staff – just as a matter of principle. They want to know the extent to which lecturers’ pay is being influenced by performance – do many staff get high pay rises? What methods (under two different laws) do they have of obtaining information, including about individuals? What might they not be able to find out? Briefly discuss why these information laws are important to society, to individuals.

…and now let’s say we’re dealing with a water supplier, and its impact on the environment. What law can you use to gain information? (1 mark)


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