Roles of judicial officers

Find out the roles of the following judicial officers in court:


Childrens Court Magistrate

Transcript

Being a Childrens Court Magistrate, my job is to consider all submissions and determine an appropriate sentence in accordance with the law and other relevant sentencing principles.

Determining an appropriate sentence is a complex process in which I must balance a range of factors in accordance with the law.

Sentencing a young person aged under 18 requires different considerations to sentencing an adult. I am required to consider the youth justice principles outlined in the Youth Justice Act 1992. These aim to balance the rights of the community to be protected from offences with the need to protect the rights and physical and mental wellbeing of children.

I am required to balance the importance of holding children accountable for their actions with the principle that they should be diverted from the criminal justice system as far as possible.

If a child pleads guilty, the legislation requires me to consider referring the offence to Youth Justice for a restorative justice process instead of sentencing them.

If a finding of guilt is made, I must consider making a referral for a restorative justice process to help me make an appropriate sentence order. Once I have decided an appropriate outcome, I am required to provide reasons for my decision.

I have to take steps to make sure that the child understands the purpose and effect of the order I make, and any consequences that may follow if he or she fails to comply with it.


Defence

Transcript

As the defence, it is my role to represent the offender and provide the judge with:

  • information on the offender’s personal circumstances
  • background or any contextual information about the offending
  • submissions about the steps an offender has taken towards their rehabilitation
  • submissions about relevant case law and legislation
  • and submissions about a suggested sentence

Judge (district and supreme court)

Transcript

As the judge, it is my job to consider all submissions and determine an appropriate sentence in accordance with the law and relevant sentencing principles.

Determining an appropriate sentence is a complex process in which I must balance a range of factors in accordance with the law.

I am required to provide reasons for the sentence imposed. These reasons are recorded and referred to as sentencing remarks.

If I hand down a non-custodial order as part of the sentence I must ensure the offender understands the conditions of the order imposed.


Magistrate

Transcript

Being the magistrate, my job is to consider all submissions and determine an appropriate sentence in accordance with the law and other relevant sentencing principles.

Determining an appropriate sentence is a complex process in which I must balance a range of factors in accordance with the law.

I am required to provide reasons for the sentence imposed.

If I hand down a non-custodial order as part of the sentence, then I must ensure that the offender understands the conditions of the imposed order.


Police prosecutor (magistrates court)

Transcript

As a police prosecutor, it is my role to provide the magistrate with all the facts and circumstances of the offending behaviour and the offender’s criminal history.


Prosecutor (district and supreme court)

Transcript

As a prosecutor, it is my job to provide the judge with:

  • all the facts and circumstances of the offending
  • the offender’s criminal history
  • submissions about the impact of the offending on any victims
  • submissions about relevant case law and legislation
  • submissions about a suggested sentence