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Civil and criminal procedure LA3004

This module focuses on the procedural rules and processes that govern the conduct of criminal and civil legal actions.

Topics covered

  • Introduction. Aims and values of the civil process. Civil court structure. Aims and values of the criminal process. Criminal court structure. Civil procedure.
  • Civil process before trial. Alternative dispute resolution. Limitations. Funding. Court jurisdiction. Parties and joinders – interpleaders.
  • Commencement of proceedings. Issuing and serving proceedings. Renewal of process. Service outside the jurisdiction.
  • Responding to a claim. Default judgments. Statement of cases. Track allocation. Small claims track. Fast track. Multi‐track.
  • Case Management. Requests for further information. Additional claims. Part 8 claims and petitions. Interim applications.
  • Summary disposal. Summary judgment. Striking out, discontinuance and stays. Interim payments. Security for costs.
  • Aspects of civil trial I. Sanctions. Disclosure. Experts. Witness statements and affidavits. Hearsay evidence. Admissions and documentary evidence. Injunctions.
  • Aspects of civil trial II. References to ECJ. Judgment and orders. Part 36 offers and payments. Costs. Enforcement. Appeals. Criminal procedure.
  • Police powers and bail. Arrest. Detention. Search and seizure. Questioning. Police practices. Remedies for abuse of police powers.
  • Charging and bail. Formulation and amendment of charges. Bail.
  • Commencement of Proceedings. Allocation. Indictments. Preparation for trial. Discovery and disclosure. ID evidence.
  • Aspects of criminal trial I. Pleas and plea bargaining. Summary justice. Juries. Crown Court trials.
  • Aspects of criminal trial II. Sentencing. Criminal appeals.

Learning outcomes

If you complete the module successfully you should be able to:

  • Describe the way in which civil procedure rules work with particular attention to the civil trial process
  • Assess the relevance of key aspects of civil procedure including alternative dispute resolution, the law of limitation, the commencement of proceedings and injunctive relief
  • Explain the legal principles governing the operation of the powers of the police and Crown Prosecution Service
  • Explain the rules of criminal procedure in summary trials and criminal trials for indictable offences
  • Describe the sentencing types and the appeals process in criminal proceedings
  • Distinguish and analyse key issues arising in the subject matter, including statute and case law, in order to produce a reasoned answer
  • Carry out complex research tasks using internet-based resources
  • Evaluate the application and development of the law in this area
  • Summarise understanding of key aspects, concepts and principles.


3hr 15 mins unseen examination.

Essential reading

  • Sime, S. A practical approach to civil procedure. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020) 23rd edition [ISBN 9780198858386].
  • Sprack, J. A practical approach to criminal procedure. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019) 16th edition [ISBN 9780198843566].