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3.3.1 - Charge: Review of the Role of Judge and Jury

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Note: This charge is based on the assumption that the judge has already instructed the jury about the respective roles of the judge and jury at the beginning of the trial (see Charge: Role of Judge and Jury). If this has not been done, it will need to be modified accordingly.

See The Role of Judge and Jury, for a discussion of the legal principles relevant to this area.


Review of the Role of the Jury

In this case, it is alleged by the prosecution that NOA committed the offence[s] of [insert offences].[1] S/he has pleaded "not guilty", and so it is for you, and you alone, to decide whether s/he is guilty or not guilty of [this/these] crime[s].

You do that by deciding what the facts are in this case. As I have told you, you are the only ones in this court who can make a decision about the facts. You make that decision from all of the evidence that has been given during the trial.

You then apply the law to the facts that you have found, and decide whether the accused is guilty or not guilty of the offence[s] charged.

Review of the Role of the Judge

It is my role, as the judge, to explain to you the principles of law that you must apply to make your decision. You must accept and follow all of those directions.

I want to emphasise again that it is not my responsibility to decide this case – that is your role. The verdict that you return has absolutely nothing to do with me. So while you must follow any directions I give you about the law, you are not bound by any comments I may make about the facts.

As I told you at the start of the trial, it is unlikely that I will make any comments about the evidence. If I do make a comment about the evidence, you must not give it any extra weight because I, as the judge, have made that comment. You must disregard any comment I make about the evidence, unless you agree with that view after making own independent assessment of the evidence. That is what I mean when I say that you alone are the judges of the facts in this case.

Review of the Role of Counsel

Throughout the trial, counsel have presented the prosecution and defence cases. While their comments and arguments have been designed to assist you to reach your decision, you also do not need to accept what they have said. Of course, if you agree with an argument they have presented, you can adopt it. But if you do not agree with their view, you must put it aside.


[1] This charge is drafted for cases involving one accused. If the case involves multiple accused, it will need to be modified accordingly.

Last updated: 17 May 2019

See Also

3.3 - Review of the Role of the Judge and Jury