Last updated 21 December 2016. This chapter is currently under review.
Preliminary Procedure when Prosecuting a Criminal Offence
First Appearance Before a Court
Summary and Indictable Offences
Defendant’s Options at First Appearance Before a Court
Summary Proceedings in the Magistrates Court
Queensland Courts Referrals
Summary Trials in the Magistrates Court
The Prosecution Case in Summary Trials
The Defence Case in Summary Trials
Appeals from Summary Proceedings
Committal Proceedings in the Magistrates Court
Proceedings on Indictment in the Supreme or District Court
The Role and Responsibilities of the Jury
Appeals against Conviction
The approach taken by a court in dealing with a criminal charge varies according to the seriousness of the charge (i.e. whether the offence is a summary offence or an indictable offence), and the position the defendant wishes to take for example whether a plea of guilty is ultimately to be entered or the charge is contested.
Any person may make a complaint about the commission of a criminal offence. This is usually done by notifying police, who then have the power to formally lay the complaint and commence the prosecution. This process is in place because criminal offences are said to be offences against the state and not merely offences against the individual victim.