The Magistrate Court in Queensland deals with two types of jurisdiction over criminal cases filed before it. These jurisdictions are distinct from one another and one of these is the jurisdiction to conduct examination of the witnesses in a case involving an indictable offence to determine whether there exists a prima facie case against the accused named in the complaint.
This proceeding is a preliminary hearing known as committal hearing. During this proceeding that the evidence of the prosecution is analysed whether it is sufficient to indict the accused charged with the offence in order to commit the accused to stand trial before the judge and the jury of the District Court or Supreme Court as the case may be. If the Magistrate Court found that there is insufficient evidence to indict the accused of the crime charged, he will be discharged by the court.
In 2010, a new type of committal hearing or procedure was introduced in Queensland by the Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction Reform and Modernization Act 2010 which is known as a registry committal. This committal hearing can only be held when the defendant is legally and appropriately represented by a competent attorney and he is not in custody or in violation of his bail.
he same procedure is also availed of if the evidence of the prosecution witnesses is reduced into written statements and duly filed in the court. This is also resorted to only when the legal representative of the defendant duly notified the clerk of court that he is not presenting any evidence or call any witnesses for his defence.
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Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.