A speech by a lawyer.
Any break in the hearing of a case.
An oath (a solemn declaration that something is true) that isn’t religious. See ‘swearing in’.
Reading the charge to the defendant, who pleads ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’.
The process used to choose jurors at random.
A way lawyers can stop some people from being selected for the jury.
Each separate crime alleged against the defendant.
A summary of the charges given to the jury.
The document that states the charge(s) against the defendant.
The alleged victim of the offence.
Lawyers for the defence or prosecution.
court attendant, jury officer or crier
A court staff member who helps the court, jurors and the public.
A court staff member who helps the courtroom run smoothly and makes sure the judge’s orders are followed. They usually sit in front of the judge. Sometimes called the ‘court taker’.
court reporter or associate
A court staff member who records the evidence given in the trial and the judge’s summing up.
When a lawyer from the other side questions a witness. For example, a prosecution witness may be ‘cross-examined’ by a defence lawyer.
The lawyer(s) trying to prove the defendant is guilty of the crime. Also called the ‘prosecution’.
The lawyer(s) who put the defendant’s side of the story to the court.
The person who’s on trial and accused of a crime.
When your jury service is put off until a later date. You have to ask the court to have your jury service deferred.
The jury’s discussions when deciding on a verdict.
Where the defendant stands or sits during the proceedings.
To select the final jury. Sometimes called ‘empanelling’.
What the witnesses say, plus anything produced as an exhibit.
When the court says you don’t have to do jury service because of your circumstances. You have to ask the court to be excused from jury service.
Items of evidence from a trial, for example, photos, statements, diagrams, weapons or any relevant material or object.
The person who speaks for the jury. The foreperson leads the discussion and makes sure jurors discuss the issues openly, fairly, in an orderly way and with respect for every juror’s opinion. They oversee the voting process, count the votes and sign the verdict form.
The person who oversees the trial.
Twelve people chosen at random to represent the community and decide on a verdict after hearing all the evidence.
The jury’s seating area in the courtroom.
A declaration that something is true. See swearing in.
The defendant’s answer to the charge, ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’.
The part of the courtroom where members of the public sit.
Leaves the courtroom. When the jury ‘retires’, they’re asked to leave the courtroom and make a decision.
The penalty imposed on someone found guilty of an offence, or who pleaded guilty to an offence.
When the jury must stay together while considering their verdict. They’re not allowed to return home until they reach a verdict.
The judge’s final instruction and advice to the jury after the prosecutor and defence counsel have given their closing statements.
When jurors swear an oath or make an affirmation (that is, they declare that something is true).
An opinion or decision agreed to by all those involved.
The final decision of the jury (guilty or not guilty).
victim impact statement
A report written by a victim explaining to the judge how the crime affected them.
A person who gives evidence in court. A witness may not always be present in court and may appear on a screen, for example child witnesses.
The place where witnesses give their evidence.