Flashcards in Prep A - Court Function, Procedure and Layout Deck (20)
Explain the function of the District Court.
To hear and decided on charges in Categories 1 and 2, and some Category 3 charges. Some High Court cases also take place in the District Court.
Outline the process for charges filed in the District Court.
CARTD off to jail -
Commencement - Notification of court proceedings and charging sheet filed.
Administration - Appears in court to hear initial disclosure and receive legal advice. Appears a second time to enter a plea. Guilty pleas go straight to sentencing and NG pleas for Cat 1 go straight to judge alone trial. For DC charges above that, a file analysis is completed by the PPS and a CMM is filed. Any pretrial hearing or sentence indications are then carried out before trial.
Trial - Carried out by Judge alone or a Jury can be elected for Cat 3 charges.
Disposition - Completion of the process via conviction, sentencing, withdrawal of charges, diversion, etc.
Explain the function of the High Court
To hear and decide on appeals from the District Court, some Cat 3 and all Cat 4 offences.
Outline the process that happens when a NG plea is entered in the DC.
For Cat 2 and above charges, a file analysis by the PPS followed by the filing of a CMM jointly by the prosecutor and defence.
What is the defnition of "election"?
When the offender chooses to be trialled by jury rather than a judge alone.
What is the definition of "remanded"?
To have court proceedings against the offender adjourned for a later date, but the offender is not simply set free. The offender can be remanded in custody, or on bail with conditions attached.
What is the definition of "adjournment"?
When court proceedings are set to resume at a later date.
What is the definition of "convicted"?
When the offender has been found to be guilty of an offence and has had this added to their criminal record.
List the various officials that may be present in the district court.
Judge, Registrar, Prosecutor, Defence Counsel, Witness, Court Orderly, Defendant, Public, Media, Court Attendants and Welfare Officers.
What is the role of the Judge?
Overall responsibility of the court, decides on questions of law and forms an opinion of guilt according to the weight of the facts.
What is the role of the Registrar?
Reads out charges to the court, assists the judge with administrative matters, labels and numbers exhibits, occasionally swears in witnesses.
What is the role of the Prosecutor?
Presents the prosecution case, cross-examines defence witnesses.
What is the role of the Defence Counsel?
Presents the defence case to the court, cross examines witnesses provided by the prosecution, and can speak to the court on behalf of the defendant.
What is the role of the witness?
Relates the facts in issue to the court as they see them.
What is the role of the Court Orderly?
Court discipline, assists prosecutor and defence counsel as required, and occasionally swears in witnesses.
What is the role of the defendant?
To be the subject of proceedings. They are not required to give evidence if they do not wish to do so. They will accept the decision of the court unless there is an appeal.
What is the role of the public?
They are permitted to be in the courtroom but may be excluded on the judge's discretion.
What is the role of the media?
They are supplied with a copy of the information, and record details of the case that are not suppressed for public information.
What is the role of the court attendants?
They call defendants, call witnesses, pass papers etc to the judge, and swear in witnesses in some courts.