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Transcript

  • 1. The Courtroom Unit 1 Outcome 3 Chapter 4
  • 2. Key Knowledge •  Distinction between summary offences and indictable offences •  Reasons for a formal court hierarchy •  An overview of the criminal jurisdiction of the courts in the Victorian court hierarchy •  Bail, remand and committal hearings •  Features of a fair trial and rights in criminal proceedings guaranteed by the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities •  Overview of the adversarial nature of a criminal trial •  Role of court personnel •  Advice and assistance available through legal aid •  Role and operation of a criminal jury
  • 3. •  Accused •  Barrister •  Coroner •  Court hierarchy •  Challenges for cause •  Jurisdiction •  Peremptory challenge •  Prima facie case •  Propensity evidence •  Prosecutor •  Solicitor
  • 4. Types of offences •  Summary offences ▫  Minor criminal offences ▫  Heard in the Magistrates Court ▫  Before a judge alone •  Indictable offences ▫  More serious criminal offences ▫  Heard in the County or Supreme Court ▫  Before a judge and jury ▫  Some indictable offences can be heard in the Magistrates Court and are known as indictable Offences heard summarily
  • 5. Victorian Court Hierarchy High Court Court of Appeal Supreme Court County Court Magistrates’ CourtCoroner’s Court Children’s Court
  • 6. Reasons for court hierarchy •  Allows for courts to become specialised in particular areas and develop expertise •  Enables the ability to appeal to a higher court •  Necessary as a part of the doctrine of precedent It is the REASON which is the RULE the RULE is the REASON and the REASON is the RATIO
  • 7. Criminal Jurisdiction •  Original jurisdiction ▫  When a court is hearing a case for the first time •  Appellate jurisdiction ▫  When a court is hearing a case on appeal
  • 8. Magistrate’s Court •  Original Jurisdiction: ▫  Lowest court in the hierarchy ▫  Hears summary offences and indictable offences heard summarily ▫  Holds committal hearings ▫  Bail applications ▫  Issuing warrants •  No Appellate Jurisdiction
  • 9. Divisions of the Magistrate’s Court Newson & Aldous, 2008, The Legal Maze, 6th ed, p. 143
  • 10. The Children’s Court •  Children are considered to be people under the age of 18 •  Two divisions !  Family Division ▫  Criminal Division
  • 11. Children’s Court Family Division •  Children who are in need of care and protection ▫  Abandoned ▫  Ill-treated ▫  Parents display insufficient control •  Cases of ‘irreconcilable differences’ between a children and their parent •  Intervention orders
  • 12. Children’s Court Criminal Division •  All summary offences •  All indictable offences except murder, attempted murder, manslaughter and offences causing death ▫  Serious indictable offences are heard before a Magistrate in a committal hearing – if sufficient evidence is presented the case will be heard in the County or Supreme Court in front of a judge •  Committal hearings •  Bail applications
  • 13. Coroner’s Court •  Investigates suspicious deaths •  Reportable deaths may include ▫  Sudden or unexpected deaths ▫  Suspected homicide ▫  Deceased was under the care of the state ▫  Identity of deceased unknown ▫  Under anesthetic ▫  Attorney-general or state coroner directs an inquiry
  • 14. County Court •  Original and Appellate Jurisdiction •  Original ▫  Serious criminal offences except the most serious such as murder, treason or murder-related offences ▫  Common cases include, major burglaries, drug offences, culpable driving, arson and armed robbery ▫  Not guilty trial will be before a judge and 12 jurors •  Appellate ▫  Hears appeals from the Magistrate’s Court
  • 15. Supreme Court •  Two divisions ▫  Trial Division !  Court of Appeal
  • 16. Trial Division •  Original Jurisdiction ▫  Most serious indictable offences such as murder and treason ▫  Heard before a Judge and jury •  Appellate Jurisdiction ▫  Appeals from the Magistrate’s court on ‘points of law’
  • 17. The Court of Appeal •  No original jurisdiction •  Appellate Jurisdiction ▫  Appeals from the County and Supreme Courts ▫  Most commonly a panel of three judges (full bench of five is rare)
  • 18. The High Court •  Federal Court •  Original Jurisdiction ▫  Disputes between State and Commonwealth Parliaments ▫  Interpretation of the Constitution ▫  Can be one judge though a full bench of seven for major cases •  Appellate Jurisdiction ▫  Highest court of appeal ▫  Minimum of two judges, appeals from Supreme, Family and Federal Courts ▫  No appeal on decision – leave only option ▫  Decisions are final and binding Australian wide
  • 19. Pre-trial Procedures •  Bail •  Remand •  Committal proceeding
  • 20. Bail •  The release of an accused person from legal custody on the understanding that he or she will appear at their hearing or trial •  Generally granted under principle of innocent until proven guilty, however some in circumstances bail will not be granted when: ▫  Charge of murder or treason ▫  Drug trafficking ▫  Already in custody for another crime ▫  Considered to pose an unacceptable risk •  In some cases bail conditions are set ▫  Surety ▫  Render passport ▫  Report to police each day
  • 21. Remand •  The holding of a suspect in custody until the case comes to trial, or until bail is granted •  Main purpose of remand is to protect society and to ensure the offender appears at trial
  • 22. Committal proceeding •  Committal proceedings are used for indictable offences that will be heard in the County or Supreme Court. It involves different types of hearings in the Magistrate’s Court that are in place to ensure a case is ready for trial.
  • 23. Summary hearings •  Charge and summons •  Mention Court procedure
  • 24. Charge and Summons ▫  Summons given to appear in court to respond to charges against them ▫  If arrested, charge given after arrestor after bail hearing
  • 25. Mention court procedure ▫  First point for all summary and indictable offences heard summarily ▫  Involves a description of the charge and the accused prior convictions Plea given Guilty plea Not guilty plea Magistrate sentence Case deferred to either summary case conference or contest mention hearing before summary hearing
  • 26. Criminal trial procedures •  Guilty plea ▫  No jury required ▫  Prosecution summarises evidence ▫  Prior convictions are read out ▫  Judges makes a decision and reads sentence
  • 27. Criminal trial procedures •  Not guilty plea
  • 28. Appeals from criminal case •  If the accused or prosecution are not satisfied with the decision they may appeal the decision •  Appeals may be on: ▫  Point of law ▫  Point of facts •  The person making the appeal is the appellant the other party the respondent
  • 29. Appellant Jurisdiction Appeal From Appeal To On Point of Law On Point of Fact Magistrate’s County ✖ ✔ Magistrate’s Supreme ✔ ✖ County Court of Appeal ✔ ✔ Supreme Court of Appeal ✔ ✔ Court of Appeal High Court ✔ ✔ Note the High Court only hears appeals when leave is granted and if a matter is in the interests of natural justice or of public interest There is no appeal from a High Court as the High Court decision is final
  • 30. Rights in Criminal Proceedings •  The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities protects human rights within the criminal justice system EQUALITY
  • 31. Rights in Criminal Proceedings •  The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities protects human rights within the criminal justice system LIBERTY
  • 32. Rights in Criminal Proceedings •  The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities protects human rights within the criminal justice system NO TORTURE
  • 33. Rights in Criminal Proceedings •  The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities protects human rights within the criminal justice system CHILDREN SEPARATED
  • 34. Rights in Criminal Proceedings •  The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities protects human rights within the criminal justice system FAIR HEARING
  • 35. Rights in Criminal Proceedings •  The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities protects human rights within the criminal justice system CRIMINAL PROCEEDING
  • 36. Rights in Criminal Proceedings •  The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities protects human rights within the criminal justice system DOUBLE JEOPARDY
  • 37. Rights in Criminal Proceedings •  The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities protects human rights within the criminal justice system RETROSPECTIVE LAWS
  • 38. Rights in Criminal Proceedings •  The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities protects human rights within the criminal justice system STATEMENT of COMPATIBILITY
  • 39. The Adversary System
  • 40. Strengths & Weaknesses of the Adversary System •  Four main Strengths ▫  It provides for a fair and unbiased hearing ▫  Is cost effective ▫  Has the confidence of the community ▫  Protects rights •  Four main Strengths ▫  There is an imbalance of power between the individual and the state ▫  It is costly ▫  The skills of the judge are not fully utilised ▫  Not all evidence may be heard ▫  There is a reliance on oral evidence
  • 41. Court Personnel in the Courtroom Newson & Aldous, 2008, The Legal Maze, 6th ed, p. 148
  • 42. Label the previous image with the name of the person or location and the role of each of the numbers identified # 1 - 17
  • 43. Answers: 1.  Judge’s bench 2.  Judge’s associate 3.  Judge’s tipstaff 4.  Counsel for the prosecution 5.  Counsel for the defence 6.  Crown instructing solicitor 7.  Defence instructing solicitor 8.  The accused 9.  Pubic seating area 10. Court stenographer 11.  Recording booth 12. Custodial security officer 13. Court security 14. Jury foreperson 15. Jury box 16. Witness box 17.  Media reporters
  • 44. Legal Aid •  Legal services available to people who cannot afford the normal cost of services needed to resolve a legal problem •  In Victoria this is provided by: ▫  Victoria Legal Aid ▫  Community legal centres ▫  Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service
  • 45. Criminal Jury ▫  The role of the criminal jury ▫  Operation of a criminal jury ▫  Challenges
  • 46. Role of the criminal jury ▫  12 jurors (an extra 3 may be empanelled in long trials to cover illness etc.) ▫  Based on concept of trial by peers ▫  Unanimous verdict first priority ▫  Majority verdict of 11/12 enough for all offences other than murder, treason and federal offences ▫  If a majority verdict cannot be reached there is a hung jury leading to another trial ▫  Decision must be beyond reasonable doubt
  • 47. Operation of a criminal jury •  Selection of jurors ▫  Randomly selected from the electoral commission ▫  Summons to attend jury service ▫  Some people may be !  Ineligible !  Disqualified !  Excused ▫  Those remaining form a jury pool from which the jury panel is selected.
  • 48. Challenges
  • 49. Advantages of the Jury System Impartial and unbiased decision- making body Ensures community involvement Shared decision making Ensures proceedings are fair
  • 50. Disadvantages of the Jury System Can ordinary people understand and recall all evidence especially in lengthy trials? Longer and more closely process ‘Ineligible’ jurors suggests juries are not representative of the community Juries do not give reason for the decision
  • 51. Effectiveness of the legal system •  Three factors are essential to achieving justice ▫  Entitlement to a fair and unbiased hearing ▫  Effective access to the legal system ▫  Timely resolution of disputes •  How does our legal system stack up against these factors?
  • 52. End of Area of Study 3 GOOD LUCK in the Test and upcoming EXAM ☺ ☺ ☺