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Flashcards in The Criminal Trial Process Deck (34)
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Court hierarchy

Lower- local, children’s, coroners
Intermediate- district, supreme, court of criminal appeal, federal court
High- high court


Local court aspects + legislation

Local courts act 1982 (NSW)
Presided over by magistrate, no jury
Deals with summary matters and less indictable matters and committal hearings to determine Prima facie case
Civil jurisdiction up to $100000


Children’s court

Children’s court act 1987 (NSW)
Under 18 or under 21 if they were less than 18 when charged.
Closed court
Magistrate and no jury
Purpose is rehab


Coroners court

Presided over by a coroner and deals with u explained deaths and fires


District court

District court act 1973 (NSW)
Appellate jurisdiction.
Presided over by judge and trial by jury
Deals with majority of serious criminal offences
Civil up to $750000


Supreme Court

Supreme Court act 1970 (NSW)
Appellate jurisdiction
Deals with error of law by magistrates
Presided by a judge and trial by jury
Most serious criminal offences (murder)


Court of criminal appeal

Appellate jurisdiction-highest criminal appeal


Federal court

Judiciary act 1903 (CWLTH)
Deals with commonwealth offences


High court

Constituted by judiciary act 1903 (CWLTH)
Highest appeal court, hears appeals and criminal matters for existing areas of law that require classification and new areas of law


Drug court +act

Drug court act 1998 (NSW)
Aims to tackle recidivist behaviour by breaking the cycle of addiction and crime by more therapeutic approach


Aspects of the adversary system

Inherited from British common law
Two opposing parties
Neutral third party
Court ruling can be appealed


What is the role of a magistrate?

Presides over local court
If accused pleads guilty determines sentence
If pleads not guilty determine guilt then sentences
Hear committal hears to determine if a prima facie case exists


Role of a judge

Oversee the conduct of the trial, rule on admissibility of evidence, rule on points of law and instruct the guilty. Will then determine sentence if found guilty


What do prosecutors do

Represents the state (society) to prosecute a crime in court in support of the prosecution


What is a police prosecutor? where do they work?

Police officer with legal training
Works in the local court as prosecutor


What is the Director of public prosecutions responsible for? + act

Crown prosecutors who carry indictable matters
Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1986 (NSW)


What does a public defender do

Support the case of the defence for people with legal aid


What are the types of pleas?



3 types of charge negotiations

1. pleading guilty to a lesser charge
2. Same charge with a change of facts
3. Agree to some charges but not all, on the basis that the remaining charges will not be proceeded with


What is the right to legal representation (legal aid)?

Not absolute but do have implied right. Children will always get representation


Criteria of legal aid

1. means: income (>$400/week)/assets
2. merit: chances of success
3. jurisdiction: is it the type of case they can fund


Who has the burden of proof in a criminal hearing?



What is the standard of proof in a criminal matter?

Beyond reasonable doubt


How are witnesses used as evidence?

Get sworn in by oath/affirmation and are then cross examined to test truth of evidence


Evidence act-what is it for

Evidence Act 1995 (NSW)
outlines the way evidence must be obtained


4 complete defences + relevant cases

1. insanity- R v. Porter
2. Self defence- Viro v. queen
3. Compulsion: necessity - holmes v. US & duress
4. Consent


What legislation allows for partial defences and what does it achieve

Section 23 of the crimes act 1900 (NSW)
murder to manslaughter


2 types of partial defences

Diminished responsibilty: suffers abnormality of the mind- r v. Byrne


What is the role of juries + act

Determines guilt based on evidence presented
Jury Act 1977 (NSW)


What are the 2 types of challenges to the jury

1. Pre-emptory: up to 3- no reason required
2. Cause: unlimited - reason required