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Criminal Law
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Listen and pass the quiz: Gain 1 CPD point (60 minutes)
Listen only, gain ½ a CPD point (30 minutes)

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Listen and pass the quiz: Gain 1 accredited CPD point (60 minutes)

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  • FREE
30 minutes of audio
(+ optional 5 minute online quiz)
Plays on Computer:
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Course Aims:

This podcast discusses how courts treat vulnerable defendants in light of the case of R v Anthony Cox [2012] EWCA Crim 549 in which the Court of Appeal reiterated that special measures for vulnerable defendants are still very much at the trial judge’s discretion. The podcast considers how best to ensure the effective participation of a vulnerable defendant in the trial process and why they are not treated as unfit to plead. This podcast is essential listening to emphasise the minimum requirements necessary and the practical measures available to ensure all defendants get a fair trial.

After completing the course you will:
  • Be able to recognise when your client is ‘vulnerable’;
  • Understand why they should not just be treated as unfit to plead;
  • Know what measures are available to assist a vulnerable defendant;
  • Understand the role medical evidence will play in these cases;
  • Know how much or how little a defendant has to understand to be deemed sufficiently engaged to participate;
  • Be aware of the minimum requirements for a fair trial;
  • Know what will happen if safeguards are not sufficient to protect a vulnerable defendant from an unfair trial;
  • Know what specific directions the judge will give to a jury in relation to special arrangements for a defendant.
Specialist Difficulty: 5 of 5
Case Update
Legal Principles
Practical Guide
Sources and References:
  • C v Sevenoaks Youth Court 2009 EWHC 3088;
  • Consolidated Criminal Practice Direction (Schedule 1 part III.29);
  • Coroners and Justice Act 2009;
  • LA v X 2011 EWHC 3401;
  • R (S) v Waltham Forest Youth Court [2004] 2 Cr App R 21;
  • R v Anthony Cox [2012] EWCA Crim 549;
  • R v Camberwell Green Youth Court ex p D a minor (by his mother and litigation friend and another 2005 UKHL 4;
  • R v H 2003 EWCA Crim 1209;
  • R v Ukpabio 2008 1 Cr App R 101;
  • R v Walls 2011 2 Cr App R 6;
  • R(TP) v West London Youth Court 920050 EWHC 2583 (Admin);
  • SC v UK (2004) EHRR 10;
  • SC v United Kingdom 2005 40 EHRR 10;
  • The Queen v Great Yarmouth Youth Court 2011 EWHC 2059;
  • TS v Regina 2008 EWCA Crim 6;
  • Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999.

In this podcast Felicity Gerry from 36 Bedford Row discusses vulnerable defendants and how best to ensure their effective participation in the trial process.

Date recorded: 17th April 2012

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