Published on February 19, 2014
Participants in a court case Who do you remember from the Preliminary Course? What are their roles in a court case?
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.
Judges 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 Magistrates 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
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.
Police Prosecutors Prosecute summary offences in the Local and Children’s Court Solicitors, with experience in the police force Present evidence gathered by the police Director of Public Prosecutions 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
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
Solicitors and Barristers 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 Public Defenders 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
PLEAS AND CHARGE NEGOTIATION
Definitions: Plea A formal statement of guilt or innocence Charge negotiation (aka plea bargaining) An agreement between the DPP and the accused that involves acceptance of a guilty plea, usually in exchange for something else.
Critically Analyse Do some research to flesh out your table. See P53 of your textbook, but also look for news stories from around 20082010, 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
1.LEGAL PERSONNEL 2. Who do you remember from the Preliminary Course? What are their roles in a court case? Participants in a court case 3. Presiding ...
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