Criminal Procedure Act

The Criminal Procedure Act 2011 (the Act) includes 5 stages:


The main components of this stage are:

Part 2 of the Act sets out the commencement of proceedings and preliminary steps, with 2 subparts:

  1. filing a charging document
  2. notifying defendant of court appearance.

Part 3 of the Act sets out the procedure before trial, with 8 subparts, 2 of which are particularly relevant to the admin stage:

  1. pleas
  2. decision regarding trial by jury for category 3 offences (elections).

The Criminal Procedure Rules 2012 (the Rules) includes rules covering:

  • content of a charging document
  • how to file a charging document
  • how to authenticate a charging document.

The Rules also include requirements for parties to

  • provide addresses for service
  • enter a plea by notice
  • observe the timeframe between first and second appearance.


This stage begins following a 'not guilty' plea:

Part 3 of the Act includes the procedure that may occur during the review stage. This includes the following subparts:

  1. Case management
  2. Sentence indications
  3. Determination of level of trial court for category 2 and 3 offences
  4. Trial court, place of trial, transfer of proceedings to trial court, and procedure for trial(external link)

The Rules include rules relating to the content and filing of the case management memorandum (CMM), the information that must be given to an unrepresented defendant instead of a CMM, and the timeframe between entering a not guilty plea and the case review hearing. 


The trial stage allows for parties to apply for a pre-trial admissibility hearing for a judge-alone trial. For a jury trial, trial callover memoranda (TCMs), trial callover and pre-trial applications are all covered.

Part 3 of the Act includes the following subparts are relevant to the trial stage:

  1. Provisions applying only to judge-alone procedure
  2. Provisions applying only to jury trial procedure.

Part 4 of the Act sets out the procedure for the trial, including 3 subparts:

  1. Provisions applying to judge-alone trials
  2. Provisions applying to jury trials
  3. Provisions applying to both judge-alone and jury trials.

The Rules includes rules relating to the timeframe

  • for making pre-trial applications 
  • for filing formal statements and TCMs
  • for between the case review hearing and the trial call-over (in jury trial cases).

The Rules also set out additional information that must be included in TCMs and the information that must be given to an unrepresented defendant instead of a TCM.

Rule 5.9 sets out the procedure for commencing a jury trial.


The Act does not specify the procedure for sentencing hearings although it does prohibit sentencing of category 2, 3 and 4 offences taking place in the absence of the defendant.

Appeal (including retrials and rehearings)

The appeal stage includes retrials, rehearings, correction of erroneous sentences and appeals.

Part 5 of the Act sets out the provisions for retrials and rehearings, and provisions relating to the correction of erroneous sentences.

Part 6 of the Act sets out the subparts relating to appeals:

  1. General matters(external link)
  2. Appeals against pre-trial decisions(external link)
  3. Appeals against conviction(external link)
  4. Appeals against sentence(external link)
  5. Appeals against finding of or sentence for contempt of court(external link)
  6. Appeals against decisions on costs orders(external link)
  7. Appeals against suppression orders(external link)
  8. Appeals on question of law(external link)
  9. Appeals against order under section 106(3) of Sentencing Act 2002(external link)
  10. Appeals relating to peace bond decisions(external link)
  11. Solicitor-General's references(external link)
  12. Further provisions(external link)

Part 8 of the Rules includes rules for appeals to a District Court and to the High Court.

Find out more:

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