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Week 1 - Intro (Anthea's)

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CRIMINAL LAW NOTES Semester 1 - 2007 INTRODUCTION The Criminal Code • Established by Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld) • Drafted by Sir Samuel Griffith in 1897 when Chief Justice of Supreme Court (later Chief Justice of High Court) • Substantially amended in 1997, 2000 due to women’s taskforce recommendations. • Other Jurisdictions with Codes – WA, Tas, NT (only WA code is similar to Qld) • In al other Australian jurisdictions the criminal law is based on Common law. Commonwealth Law • Based on various statutes – mainly Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) • Involves offences against commonwealth law/property e.g. airports, social security or taxation fraud, importing drugs, telecommunications crime • Prosecuted in Qld courts by CDPP (Commonwealth director of public prosecutions) • The Criminal Code does not apply. State Law • Based on Criminal Code 1899 (Qld) • The legislation leaves many gaps to be filled by the invocation of common law rules and principles • Some offences are contained in other legislation e.g. Drugs misuse Act • Simple offences are prosecuted in the Magistrates Court • Indictable offences are prosecuted by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the District of Supreme Court or may be heard summarily in the Magistrates Court Types of Offences • An offence is an act or mission that renders a person liable to punishment – s2 Criminal Code • The commission of an offence usually requires: o The occurrence of the conduct specified in the offence description o The existence of any state of mind (such as intention) required to make a person criminally responsible for that conduct o The absence of any special defence of justification or excuse which would negative criminal responsibility for the conduct • Types of offences can by crimes and misdemeanours (indictable), simple offences or regulatory offences (in descending order of seriousness) - s3 Criminal Code • Simple offences can only be heard in the Magistrates Court • Some offences, like stealing, can be dealt with either in the magistrate’s court or by judge and jury in the district or supreme courts. • Some offences, like murder, can only be dealt with by judge and jury in the Supreme court. O f f e n c e C r i m i n a l R e g u l a t o r y Se . g .Seh o p l i f t i w i l f ud a mAa g e1 9 8 5 D i s t r i c t / S ua gei s Ctt er tC o u r to n l y D e a l tw i t ho ns ei ne d Ji ce tsmA c tc1 8 8 6 e . g .B a s e - J u mp i n g C r i m e sM i s d e m e a n o u r s M o r e S e r i o u s 1 CRIMINAL LAW NOTES Semester 1 - 2007 Terminology • Defendant / Accused / Prisoner Lower / Higher / Convicted • Criminal Matters are never actions, but prosecutions • The state prosecutes on behalf of the community at large, not just the victim • Committal proceedings – preliminary hearing before a magistrate following the institution of criminal charges whereby he or she determines whether the person charged should be committed for trial or sentencing • Indictment – the written document that sets out the indictable offences charges against any person and is used to commence proceedings before the courts of competent jurisdiction in Qld (namely the district and supreme courts). This follows committal. If a person is dealt with summarily for an indictable offence, an indictment is not used. • Ex Officio indictment – indictment presented without a committal proceeding or where following a committal proceeding, a magistrate has refused to commit a person for trial. It is only to be used by consent of the accused and in exceptional circumstances -s561 Criminal code, Bartons Case • Subpoena – order of the court either compelling a person to attend or compelling a thing be produced in the court The procedure • Summary Trial (State offence) C o m s 4 2J u s t i cA c t C o m p l a i n t S u m m a r y T r i a l b y M a g i s t r a t e C o u r t p t6 J u s t i cA c t P l e a d G u i l i t y P l e a d N o t G u i l i t y s 1 4 5 ( J u s t i cA c t s 1 4 6J u s t i A c t S e n t e n c e d U n d e r P e n a l t i e sa no dm p lea ni nt et nD ciA sc et d s C o n v i c t e d s 1 4 9J u s t i A c t s 1 5 1J u s t i A c t S e n t e n c e d U n d e r P e n a l t i e sa n d S e n t e n c i n g • Indictable offences o Summary Trial - election to be heard before judge and jury governed
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