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Criminal Courtroom

TermDefinition
Summary offence A less serious offence heard in the Magistrates' Court before a single magistrate
Indictable offence A serious offence heard in the County Court or Supreme Court before a judge and jury
Original jurisdiction The types of cases the court hears for the first time
Appellate jurisdiction The types of cases the court hears on appeal from a lower court
Appellant The person who appeals a result of a court to a higher court
Respondent The person defending the appeal
Bail The release of a person whilst they are awaiting a hearing or a trial
Surety A sum of money forfeited by a person to support an accused obtaining bail; a surety guarantees that the accused will attend their hearing or trial
Remand Detention of a person in legal custody until their trial
Examination-in-chief A witness is questioned by their side's legal counsel
Cross-examination A witness is questioned by the other side's legal counsel to determine inconsistencies in their evidence
Re-examination A witness is requestioned by their side's legal counsel after cross-examination to clear up any inconsistencies which may have occurred
Plea for mitigation in sentence A plea from the defence for a lenient sentence; this can be due to the accused's background, character or family life
Prima facie case A case with enough evidence to support a conviction at trial
Committal proceedings An inquiry to determine if there is a prima facie case against the accused
Contested committal A committal proceeding where the accused indicates their intention to plead guilty or not guilty
Directions hearing A pre-trial procedure to speed up the trial; issues concerning the case are discussed at a hearing between both parties and the judge
Arraignment The accused is called, placed in the dock and asked for their plea
Unanimous verdict An agreement on a decision by all members of the jury
Majority verdict The majority of the members of the jury must agree with the verdict
Adversary system The system of trial used in Australia in which two sides contest to win the case
Inquisitorial system A system of trial where the judge or magistrate takes an active role in investigating and determining the case in question
Jury A group of people who are selected to hear a court case and make a decision in favour of one of the parties based on the evidence and the law
Empanelled To select the required number of jurors through a series of challenges from the jury pool
Peremptory challenge A challenge to a prospective juror without a reason
For cause challenge A challenge to a perspective juror with a reason
Hung jury When the jury cannot reach a verdict
Created by: EM2192