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Report Of Downing Court (Local, Civil And District Courts) And The Roles And Responsibilities In The Court System.

2098 words - 8 pages

1. On arrival at the downing courts on Liverpool St, the court officer Richard took the commerce II students on a tour. The students were provided with a brief history on the building before they were taken to courtroom 2 on level one. Here Richard explained the role and jurisdiction of both the local and district courts as well as the layout of the court room. He also explained that the Australian court system is arranged in a hierarchy.The district courts are considered the intermediate level of the states court hierarchy. The district court deals with serious criminal matters such as malicious wounding; dangerous driving; assaults including sexual assaults; property offences; drug offences; fraud cases and armed robbery. However they do not deal with charges on murder, piracy or treason which is dealt with by the Supreme Court. The district Court has civil jurisdiction. This gives the court the authority to deal with motor accident claims and civil disputes where the amount or damages range between $40000 and $750000. However they may deal with matters over this price if both parties agree to it. In the district courts a jury and a judge is involved in the trials. This is different to the local courts where a jury is not present. If people are not satisfied with the decisions made in the local court then an appeal can be made for the case to be reheard in the district court.The local court is different to the District court as they deal with minor offences or summary offences. These include cases of minor traffic violations, vandalism, drink driving or public drunkenness, minor abuse and other summary prosecutions. They also deal with civil matters where the damages are under $40,000; committal hearings to decide if there is enough evidence for a trial in the district or Supreme Court; family law matters; child care proceedings and coronial inquires. Unlike the district court, a magistrate presides over the case and usually doesn't require a jury.Richard gave a short run-through of the proceedings of a district court case. When the judge is ready for the trial, the bailiff calls the defendant who is obliged to sit in the dock. The public who wait to hear the case stand outside until they are called in by the bailiff. Once inside they sit in the public gallery. However if it is a closed case then the public are not permitted to go in. When all parties are present, the judge enters and the bailiff announces "all rise". The charges will then be read by the judge's associate and the accused will be asked "how do you plead". If the defendant pleads not guilty then a jury is empanelled. If they plead guilty then the jury is dismissed.Finally, the court officer outlined the sequence of a case. First the crown prosecutor stands and proceeds with the evidence. This evidence is prove that the defendant committed the alleged crime. The witness is requested and will be expect to take an oath of truth. The witness will be questioned by the prosecutor (this...

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