Delay in the Administration of Criminal Justice

Commonwealth Developments and Experience

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Fixed Penalty Notices

Dispensing with the attendance of the defendant at a summary hearing does result in some saving of time, but the case must still go before a magistrate for his consideration. The paperwork involved can be quite considerable and, because the defendant is at most given an indication of the upper and lower limits of the possible penalty, he may wish to defend the case. Fixed penalty procedures, as the name implies, carry a fixed monetary penalty which the defendant is informed of in the summons, and unless he decides to challenge the charge or fails to pay the fine, the case is dealt with administratively and does not appear before a magistrate or justice of the peace.


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