criminal law in england and wales
when someone is arrested (arrest) by the police, a magistrate (=an official who judges cases in some types of courts) decides whether there is enough evidence(证据) against the person for the case to go to court. if there is enough evidence and the case is a serious one, the person accused(控告) of the crime (called 'the accused(被告)') is sent to a crown court for a trial with a judge and jury (=12 members of the public who have to decide if the accused is guilty(有罪的), then the judge decides the sentence(判决) (2) (=punishment). if there is enough evidence against the accused but the crime is not a serious one (for example a traffic offence) then the case is heard in a magistrates court.
if found guilty in the crown court the accused may apply to(请求) the court of appeal (criminal division) where he or she will be heard by a judge. sometimes a high court judge from the queen's bench division assists in dealing with criminal matters in the court of appeal or crown court.
criminal law in northern ireland
in northern ireland, as in england and wales, someone accused of a crime may be tried in a magistrates' court or a crown court depending on how serious the crime is. appeals from the crown court are heard in the northern ireland court of appeal.
criminal law in scotland
scotland has a separate court system. after a person is arrested by the police, an official called the procurator fiscal is in charge of deciding whether there is enough evidence against the accused for a trial. if there is enough evidence and the crime is a very serious one, the accused is sent to the high court of justiciary where there is a judge and jury(陪审团) (in scotland there are 15 people on a jury). if there is enough evidence but the crime is a less serious one, the case is heard in a sheriff court (the sheriff is a trained lawyer who acts as a judge). appeals from the sheriff court go to the high court of justiciary.