Judge alone trials were introduced through amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic) (‘CPA’) that, for the first time in Victoria, and for a brief period, allowed for certain criminal trials to be held before a judge alone without a jury. That legislation was repealed as of 26 April 2021 and no further applications for trial by judge alone can be made or determined after that time. However, trials by judge alone in which judgment has not been delivered before the repeal may continue before a judge alone (CPA s 454A).
The College has produced two resources to assist judges and practitioners navigate this process:
Judge Alone Trial Applications reviews the legislative amendments that regulate when a judge alone trial may be held, and highlights the relevant factors a court must consider in determining whether or not to grant a trial by judge alone.
Judge Alone Trial Proceedings examines the legislation on the running of a judge alone trial, and issues concerning adequacy of reasons, directions and warnings, and judicial practice in the conduct of a criminal judge alone trial.