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3.3 legal personnel

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3.3 legal personnel

  1. 1. LEGAL PERSONNEL
  2. 2. Who do you remember from the Preliminary Course? What are their roles in a court case? Participants in a court case
  3. 3. Presiding Officers Judges and magistrates interpret the law, assess the evidence presented, and control how trials unfold in their courtrooms. They are impartial decision-makers in the pursuit of justice. In order to become a judge or magistrate, you must be a qualified professional with years of experience in the law.
  4. 4.  Sit in intermediate and superior courts  Oversee proceedings, maintain order, ensure court procedures are followed  Ensure jury understand evidence and points of law  If no jury, will make a judgement based on the evidence presented  Hand down sentences  Sit in local court (or children’s court)  Oversee proceedings  Make a judgement based on the evidence presented  Hand down sentences  Hold committal hearings for indictable offences  Hear bail hearings Judges Magistrates
  5. 5. Prosecutors In criminal trials, the Crown (or state) is represented by a prosecutor. It’s the prosecutor’s role to present the case against an offender to the court and to argue for an appropriate punishment.
  6. 6.  Prosecute summary offences in the Local and Children’s Court  Solicitors, with experience in the police force  Present evidence gathered by the police  Prosecute indictable and some summary offences  Barristers or solicitors  Present evidence gathered by the police and question witnesses on the stand  Only prosecute cases “in the public interest” – must not be influenced by public or government pressure Police Prosecutors Director of Public Prosecutions
  7. 7. Legal Representatives Everyone appearing in court in Australia has the right to be represented by legal council. Legal representatives can also give legal advice outside of a courtroom. Accused who can not afford to hire their own legal representative may be entitled to a public defender.
  8. 8.  The accused will contact a solicitor, who can give legal advice (including possible defences, likelihood of conviction and sentence)  Solicitors can represent the accused in Local Court, and will assist Barristers in higher courts  Barristers are hired by solicitors to represent the accused in higher courts  Barristers, employed by (but independent of) the government  Represent the accused in a serious criminal case, where the accused is entitled to receive Legal Aid Solicitors and Barristers Public Defenders
  9. 9. PLEAS AND CHARGE NEGOTIATION
  10. 10. Definitions:  A formal statement of guilt or innocence  An agreement between the DPP and the accused that involves acceptance of a guilty plea, usually in exchange for something else. Plea Charge negotiation (aka plea bargaining)
  11. 11. Critically Analyse Do some research to flesh out your table. See P53 of your textbook, but also look for news stories from around 2008- 2010, when there was a great deal of debate in NSW. (Try the SMH)  Create a table which shows the advantages and the disadvantages of charge bargaining.  Criteria might include:  Resource efficiency (people, money, time)  Role of discretion  Rights of victims  Rights of the accused  Community expectations  The extent to which justice is

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