English Criminal Justice - How the Law is Administered

'In England there are different courts according to the gravity of the offence. The main principles of English Criminal Law are: the accused is tried by a jury; he is presumed to be innocent unless he can be proved guilty; he does not have to pay for his own defence; and the trial takes place in open court with the press and public present.'[1]

Date: 1946
Duration: 23:--

Director: Ken Annakin
Production Company: Greenpark Productions
Producer: -
Cinematographer: -
Composer: -
Narration: Harold Warrender
Editor: -
Sound Recording: -
Script: Ken Annakin, & R.F. Delderfield

Length: 35mm: 2000ft. 16mm: 800ft.

Distributor: -

Further Information

'English Criminal Justice' - Taken from 'Films of Britain 1946'
English Criminal Justice
Distributors: British Council
Producers: Greenpark Productions
Script and Commentary: Ken Annakin and R.F. Delderfield.
Commentary Spoken by: Harold Warrender
Length: 2070ft / 23mins
Documentary. In the old days there was trial by fire, later trial by combat, but the procedure followed in the execution of justice has progressed a long way since then. A foreign visitor gazes up at the figure of Justice on the Old Bailey and thinks of crime and punishment. A passing advocate tells him that the laws of England differ from those of other countries and undertakes to show him something of the procedure of the various courts. We see the working of a simple petty sessions case. A Berkshire farmer is brought before the bench for allowing his sheep to stray. He has had no experience of court procedure and we see the consideration afforded him for this reason. We are then shown how a murder trial at the Old Bailey is conducted, based on the assumptio
n that a prisoner is innocent until he is proved guilty. The functions of the judge and jury are explained, the dependence of the verdict upon the unanimity of the jury and the procedure followed in the event of the prisoner being acquitted or, alternatively, condemned. This film should be most suitable for export, as a very good idea is conveyed of the dignity, thoroughness and, at the same time, humanity with which English justice is carried out. The photography is good, the commentary excellent, but the interiors are studio sets, those taking part are presumably professional actors and the result is perhaps rather too theatrical, especially during the murder trial.

'English Criminal Justice' - Taken from 'Films of Britain 1947-50'

  1. ^ Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1947-50
  2. ^ New Short Films Issued between July 16 and August 19 1946
    Educational Films
    Documentary and Interest
    Index to Vol.13 / No.s 145-156 / 1945-46
    Monthly Film Bulletin of the BFI