Some criminal charges under the Criminal Code of Queensland cannot be dealt with in the magistrates’ court, despite starting in the magistrates court. When charges cannot be dealt with by a magistrate, they need to go through the committal process. That is, the charges need to be committed up to a higher court.
There are three ways by which the committal process can be done. The first type of committal process is called a hand up with cross examination. What this means, there might be aspects of the case that need further clarification. For instance, a witness is cross examined by defence on something contained in their statement to police. So, there is a combination of handing up the paperwork and exhibits and cross examining one or multiple people involved in the case. This type of committal is done in the courtroom.
The second type of committal is called a full hand-up committal. That means, there is no cross examination of any witnesses, but all the paperwork and exhibits are handed up to the magistrate. This type of committal is also done in the courtroom.
The third type of committal is called a registry committal. That means, the charges are dealt with ‘on the papers’ in the registry. There is no court appearance, but everything is submitted to the court electronically.
The committal process is a necessary step in committing charges to a higher court. The magistrate needs to be satisfied there is, on the face of it, a case to answer. It does not, however, imply the defendant is guilty of the charges.
Our team specialise in criminal defence. Our role is to sit down with you and work out the strategy that will get you the best possible result. If you have any questions about this article or any other topic of law, please call our team of experts on 1300 066 669.