Criminal Trials

During the Trial the accused will appear in the dock, which is a specialised place in the courtroom for accused persons to sit. A document called the ‘indictment’ is presented by the prosecutor which details the alleged offence. It is then read by the Judge’s associate to the accused whom must then either please ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’.

If the accused pleads ‘guilty’ then he or she will then be sentenced by the judge. However if the accused please ‘not guilty’ then the trial will begin. Each Juror present at the trial must take an oath or affirmation to bring in a verdict as according to the evidence produced in the Court.

The prosecutor will then start with an opening address, stating the case against the accused. Following this, the defence will then address the Court. Witness are then called upon by the prosecutor which the defence is then able to cross-examine. Once the cross examination has finished, the prosecutor may once again re-examine the witness in order to clarify evidence which was given in cross examination. The defence case then undergoes the same procedure.

Following presentation of all evidence, the prosecution and defence will review their cases, either the Judge or the Jury (depending upon which Court the trial is being heard) will deliberate upon evidence presented. If there is a jury hearing the case, the Judge will give instructions upon what matters of law are relevant to the case at hand and factual issues that the jury will have to consider.

Upon reaching a decision of whether the accussed is guilty or not guilty by the judge or jury, a sentence is handed down dependent on the offence.

Civil Trials

In Civil trials, a writ, summons or notice dependent upon the claim or action is filed. A significant amount of matters are resolved out of the Courtroom through negotiation and mediation. Matters which can resolved through either will be entered for hearing.

A civil trial is very similar to a criminal trial save that a jury is almost never required. The party bringing forth the action is called the Plaintiff and the other the Defendant.

The judge will hear the case and depending upon the evidence, will decide which remedy they believe the successful party shoudl recieved. Generally the party whom is unsuccessful will pay all costs of the successful parties legal and filing fees.

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