1.10.1 – Charge: Trial Procedure

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Order of Proceedings

I will now describe the procedure that we will follow during the trial, and some general administrative matters.

In a moment we will hear the opening address from the prosecutor, and the reply from counsel for the accused.[1] Then we will proceed to hear the evidence. After that, there will be closing addresses from counsel. I will then instruct you about the law, the issues and the evidence. You will then go to the jury room to discuss your verdict[s].

Transcripts and Note-Taking

All of the evidence in this case is going to be tape recorded and transcribed. This means that you will be able to check on any part of the evidence you later cannot remember.

However, you should always listen carefully to the evidence as it is given, because it is not only what the witnesses say, but also how they say it that is important to your assessment of their evidence.

When you are listening to the evidence from the witnesses, you may take notes if you wish, but you do not have to. It is completely up to you. If you do take notes, you should not allow it to distract you from listening to the evidence and assessing the witnesses. You may always ask to hear a tape of a witness’s testimony or have some evidence read back to you, but you only have one chance to observe the appearance and behaviour of the witnesses when they give the evidence.

Sitting times and breaks

Our hours here in court are [insert starting time] until [insert lunch time] and then [insert starting time after lunch] until [insert finishing time].

If something comes up which means that you may not able to attend court when we would normally be sitting, please let me know as soon as possible, so that we can try to resolve the issue.

Opening Address

We will now hear the opening address from the prosecution, who will tell you what the case is about.

[After opening and reply, briefly state the issues.]

 

Notes

[1] This will need to be modified if the judge’s remarks are made after the opening address and reply.

Last updated: 30 November 2015

See Also

1.10 – Trial Procedure