The Criminal Procedure Act 2011 introduces new terminology related to criminal procedure. The following sets out the new terms and where they are referred to within the Act and/or other legislation.
Category 1 is a fine only offence.
Category 2 covers offences punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than two years (or is not punishable by imprisonment but by a community-based sentence).
Category 3 covers offences punishable by imprisonment for life or a maximum term of imprisonment of two or more years unless listed in Schedule 1 to the Act.
Category 4 covers offences listed in Schedule 1 to the Act (for example, murder or manslaughter).
Defendant means any person charged with an offence. Previously this person was referred to as the accused.
Charging document - The charging document sets out the charge against the defendant. The Criminal Procedure Rules 2012 details how the document should be filed and what information is to be included.
Case management memorandum (CMM) and case review - A case management memorandum will be issued to a defendant's lawyer following the entry of a not guilty plea. This memorandum must be jointly completed by all parties. The defendant's lawyer must file it with the court before case review. Case review is the hearing at which any matters raised in the CMM can be actioned. Following case review, proceedings that are still being defended will be adjourned to a judge-alone trial or a trial callover (jury trials only).
Judge-alone trial - Judge-alone trials are the default trial for category 1, 2 and 3 offences, although a defendant charged with a category 3 offence may elect jury trial. A judge-alone trial is presided over by a judge (or by one or more justices of the peace or community magistrates if they have jurisdiction to hear the proceeding against the defendant).
Jury trial is the default trial for category 4 offences; however, a defendant charged with a category 3 offence may elect jury trial. In limited circumstances, the prosecutor can apply for a jury trial to be determined by a judge sitting without a jury.
Pre-trial admissibility hearing means a discussion held prior to a judge-alone hearing as to the admissibility of evidence.
Protocol offence are category 2 or 3 offences that will routinely be considered for transfer from the District Court to the High Court. These offences will be identified by a protocol between the Chief District Court Judge and Chief High Court Judge.
Trial callover and trial callover memorandum (TCM) - A proceeding will be adjourned to a trial callover after case review (if still defended) if the defendant has elected jury trial or the proceeding is for a category 4 offence. Prior to trial callover the prosecutor and defence lawyer must file formal statements, and a TCM. The memoranda contain trial management information (such as estimated duration of the prosecutor's and defendant's case, and the number of witnesses to be called), and details of any pretrial applications or other matters to be resolved before trial.
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