Sign in to follow this  
questioner

Magistrates' arrest warrants

Recommended Posts

Here's an interesting hypothetical:

 

The Magistrates' Act 1980 states that on an information being laid before a justice of the peace that a person has, or is suspected of having, committed an offence the justice may issue -- a warrant to arrest that person and bring him before a magistrates' court.

 

The Criminal Procedure Rules for arrest warrants (https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/criminal/docs/crim-proc-rules-2014-part-18.pdf) lay out the information that must be contained in a warrant, but do not specify any particular format.

 

Given that only one magistrate is required to issue an arrest warrant (i.e. not a bench of two or three), could a magistrate who witnesses the commission of an offence, write an arrest warrant on the spot and require a constable to execute it and place the person under arrest?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it was an arrestable offence it wouldn't matter no warrant would be required. It would almost certainly be arrestable before an arrest warrant would be requested anyway.

 

As Tommo says below, the likelhood of it happening is unlikely or even zero.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems like the 'What If' questions that someone always seems to ask at training college. Why do you wish to know this ? The likelihood of it cropping up is so slim as to be pointless knowing the answer.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

999tommo - as I wrote, this is hypothetical and knowing the answer interests me, hence asking the question.

 

I can imagine a situation in which it may well occur: for example, the magistrate witnesses a breach of the peace and summons the police. But, by the time the constable arrives the breach of the peace has ended. For the constable to make an arrest, he would have to witness the breach of the peace himself, or have reason to believe that a further breach was likely.

 

The magistrate, having witnessed the breach of the peace could swear to that effect and could reasonably desire the offender to brought before a court to answer the charge. One could therefore imagine a situation in which it would be desirable for the magistrate to see the offender arrested, but which the constable could only do with a warrant to that effect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why call a constable then issue a warrant?

The magistrate is a civillian, therefore....

 

A civilian may conduct an arrest in these circumstances if: (a) a breach of the peace is committed in his presence, the person effecting the arrest reasonably believes that such a breach will be committed in the immediate future by the person arrested, or © a breach of the peace has been committed or the person effecting the arrest reasonably believes that a breach of the peace has occurred and that a further breach is threatened.

 

Then just call the police tohave them taken into custody.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it was an arrestable offence it wouldn't matter no warrant would be required. It would almost certainly be arrestable before an arrest warrant would be requested anyway.

 

As Tommo says below, the likelhood of it happening is unlikely or even zero.

Er...arrestable offence? 

Really?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

999tommo - as I wrote, this is hypothetical and knowing the answer interests me, hence asking the question.

 

I can imagine a situation in which it may well occur: for example, the magistrate witnesses a breach of the peace and summons the police. But, by the time the constable arrives the breach of the peace has ended. For the constable to make an arrest, he would have to witness the breach of the peace himself, or have reason to believe that a further breach was likely.

 

The magistrate, having witnessed the breach of the peace could swear to that effect and could reasonably desire the offender to brought before a court to answer the charge. One could therefore imagine a situation in which it would be desirable for the magistrate to see the offender arrested, but which the constable could only do with a warrant to that effect.

As already stated so many things wrong with this questions.

1. If the breach of peace has ended that's it no further action, times when you may arrest someone for breach of the peace who may be drunk but as soon as they sober up there is no likelyhood of it reoccurring and you may choose to release them.

2. No charge for breach of the peace.

3. Magistrates have no legal qualifications they issue warrants on the evidence put before them assisted by their well trained clerks, so if they witness an offence and don't have the wherewithal to make a citizens arrest they call the police like everyone else and then abide by the decision of the officer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.