Criminal Code Amendment (Judge Alone Trials) Bill 2020: the option for criminal trials to be held without a jury - Have your say

The Tasmanian Government is committed to ensuring that public consultation processes are open and transparent and we are seeking your input on proposed amendments to the Criminal Code to allow for the option of criminal trials to be held without a jury in the Supreme Court.

Criminal Code Amendment (Judge Alone Trials) Bill 2020

Tasmania does not currently have the option of trial by judge alone for criminal offences. Unless an accused person pleads guilty to an indictable crime, they are entitled to be tried before a judge and jury in the Supreme Court of Tasmania, with the jury determining whether they are guilty or not of an offence.

The draft legislation has been drafted by the Tasmanian Government to allow for the option of criminal trials to be held without a jury in the Supreme Court with appropriate protections.

The draft Bill proposes to insert new provisions into the Criminal Code that, inter alia, provide:

  • That any party to the proceedings may apply for an order for trial by judge alone within 2 months of the date the accused was committed to stand trial.  An application may be considered outside of this expiry period if exceptional circumstances exist.
  • In circumstances where the prosecution are seeking a judge alone trial order the draft Bill requires that this is only available with the consent of the accused.
  • That an order for trial by judge alone cannot be made unless the court is satisfied of the following factors:
    • The accused person has given informed consent. The court needs to be satisfied that the accused understands the nature of the proposed order and the implications of an order, if made.
    • That the making of an order is in the interests of justice.
    • Where an accused is charged with two or more charges that are to be tried together the order is to be made for all of the charges and if there is more than one accused, each accused must have made an application and given their consent.
  • For the consent requirements that a court is to satisfy itself of to be able to make an order.
  • The law and procedure to be applied in a trial by judge alone sitting without a jury.

Download the draft Bill: Criminal Code Amendment (Judge Alone Trials) Bill 2020 (PDF, 234.5 KB)

The comment period for this consultation is now closed.

Important information to note

  1. Your name (or the name of the organisation) will be published unless you request otherwise.
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