(No. 1 of 2005)
Committal Proceedings – Depositions – Listing Procedures
I, Michael Rodney Hill, Acting Chief Magistrate of Tasmania, make and publish the following Practice Direction pursuant to s. 15AA of the Magistrates Court Act 1987 with regard to the practice and procedure of the Magistrates Court of Tasmania in the exercise of its jurisdiction pursuant to the Justices Act 1959 (“the Act”).
1. Upon election by a Defendant pursuant to s.56A of the Act, a Magistrate may make orders:
(a) for the Prosecutor to provide to the Defendant (or his/her Counsel) within a defined period of time copies of statements of those witnesses upon whose evidence the Prosecutor intends to rely;
(b) for the Defendant (or his/her Counsel) to provide to the Prosecutor in writing within 7 days of the expiry of the period of time defined in paragraph (a) above a list of the witnesses whose depositions are required to be taken pursuant to s.56A(6A) or s.57A of the Act at a “committal hearing”,
(c) for the Defendant (or his/her Counsel)to file a copy of that letter with the Court;
(d) adjourning the matter to a Committal Mention list before a Bench Justice on a date approximately 14 days after the expiry of the period of time defined in paragraph (b) above.
2. If the Defendant (or his/her Counsel)has not provided the list of witnesses to the Prosecutor as required by paragraph 1(b) above, the Bench Justice may stand the matter down on the Committal Mention date and refer it to a Magistrate the same day.
3. If the Defendant (or his/her Counsel)has provided the list of witnesses to the Prosecutor as required by paragraph 1(b) above, the Bench Justice will list the matter for a committal hearing approximately 6 weeks after the Committal Mention date to allow the Prosecutor sufficient time for preparation and service of Witness Summonses.
4. All cases listed for a committal hearing will be heard by Bench Justices except for charges of rape, and cases involving witnesses who are “affected children” within the meaning of the Evidence (Children and Special Witnesses) Act 2001 which will be listed before a Magistrate for the committal hearing.
5. In the case of any sexual offence charges that are prosecuted by Counsel from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the committal hearing date will be set for a date during the Supreme Court Appeal Terms where appropriate.
6. If any matter cannot proceed on the date listed for the committal hearing, the Bench Justice may, in his/her discretion, refer the matter to a Magistrate on the same day for appropriate action.
DATED the 8th day of September 2005.