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Students are required to visit any Magistrates’ Court in Victoria and observe at least 3 criminal cases being heard by the court. Your Report is to discuss the following: 1. Name, address of...

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Students are required to visit any Magistrates’ Court in Victoria and observe at least 3 criminal cases being heard by the court. Your Report is to discuss the following:

1. Name, address of Magistrates’ Court and date of court visit.

2. The role and function of the Magistrates’ Court.

3. Draw a diagram of the court- include labels for the following features and participants and describe their function:

a. Magistrate b. The bench clerk; c. Defence; d. Prosecution; e. Witness; f. Defendant.

4. In relation to EACH of the 3 cases you observed explain the following:

· Facts of the case-

· Court procedure- What evidence did the Police Prosecutor produce in support of their case? Did the Defence raise any defences? Were any witnesses called to give evidence? What were the stages of questioning?

· Outcome of the case- was the defendant found guilty? If yes, what sentence was imposed by the Magistrate and what factors were taken into account when sentencing the defendant.


5.Identify the i) 5 principles of sentencing and ii) 5 purposes of sentencing.

6. Select one of the three cases in your answer to question 4 and explain how each of the purposes of sentencing was applied in that particular case by the Magistrate.

7. Select one of the three cases in your answer to question 4 that involved a plea. Now explain what the defendant’s legal representative raised (or could have raised), including in mitigation, to address the purposes of sentencing – for example, legal counsel for the defendant Pebbles advised the court that her reckless driving had killed her only child, that she could also no longer have children, she was now in counselling for depression since the accident, her husband of 22 years had instigated divorce proceedings and so she had arguably already suffered significant consequences/punishments for her actions already. Be very clear in your answer whether your point was actually raised by the defendant’s legal counsel OR you are suggesting something that realistically could have been raised AND if it is the latter, that is your idea, ensure it has some merit (as courts/Magistrates frown on frivolous, time wasting issues being raised before them).

8. “The Magistrates’ Court’s objective is to provide an efficient, modern and responsive court to meet the needs of the community”. Discuss this statement with regard to the strengths and weaknesses of the Magistrates Court and what you actually observed on your court visit.
Answered Same Day Nov 02, 2019


David answered on Nov 30 2019
146 Votes
Magistrate Courts – A Study
The questions have been answered / explained in sequential order that was presented:
Name and Address of the Court
The Magistrate court of Victoria sits in the premises of the Melbourne magistrate could situated at 233 William St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia.
Role and Function of the Magistrate Court:
Magistrate courts are designated with functions of upholding justice with respect to the less serious offences. However, it is found in practice that cases pertaining to the criminal courts virtually start in the magistrate court and 90/5 of them generally get settled at this place. The main types of cases that are dealt in the magistrate’s court are summary offences which generally pertain to motoring offences or minor assaults and the like, either way offences which as the name suggests these offences are of the nature that they could be dealt either by the crown or the magistrate, Indictable-only offences which are more serious crimes in whose case magistrate’s court could hear a bail plea.
Diagram pertaining to Court Officials
Tasks performed: Magistrate, is the judge appointed by the judiciary to declare judgements pertaining to the case being presented and debated. Usher, sequences the persons that are required to attend court and presents them in order. The court clerk would be responsible for documenting the proceedings of the case inclusive of sequential recording of all documents / witness presented. Prosecutor advocate, advocate of the state who argues against the person inflicted with a crime charge. Defence Advocate, is the person who presents the facts that would defend the person charges. Press are allowed to view in cases that are generally of public importance and the public are allowed to witness the proceedings from the gallery allotted for the same.
Details of Cases Observed
    Case 2
    Case 3
    Case Brief
    Violation of traffic signal and driving ahead
    Violation of restraining order in existence for a second time
    Violation of speeding limits within city limits.
    Police Evidence
    CCTV records that were retrieved from the building adjacent to the signal.
    Personal account of the neighbour who witnessed the incident of forced entry
    CCTV footage and speedometer capture that were presented for study
    Defence Arguments
    None, as CCTV records identified the driver and the vehicle clearly
    The intent of the neighbour to co conspire with the complainant in order to make her benefit from the proceeds of the divorce case case that was pending disposal.
    The quality of CCTV footage pertaining to identification of the number plate was not very clear...

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