Serious criminal cases involving offences such as murder, manslaughter and treason, are heard and determined in the Criminal Division of the Supreme Court. When the accused pleads not guilty, there is often a trial before a jury or when the accused pleads guilty they are sentenced by a judge of the Criminal Division.
As well as trials, pleas and sentences, judges of the Criminal Division also hear criminal applications under a number of different Acts, including:
- Bail Act 1977 (Vic) - See Bail applications for further information and resources.
- Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 (Vic)
- Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)
- Surveillance Devices Act 1999 (Vic)
- Major Crime (Investigative Powers) Act 2004 (Vic)
- Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
Cases are heard in Melbourne as well as in ten regional locations in Victoria throughout the year: Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Horsham, Morwell, Mildura, Shepparton, Wangaratta, Warrnambool and Wodonga. Sitting in these regional locations are referred to as ‘circuits’.
Judges of the Criminal Division
The Principal Judge of the Criminal Division is the Honourable Justice Hollingworth. For a list of current Criminal Division judges see the judicial organisational chart.
The administrative and legal staff in the Criminal Registry support the work undertaken in the Criminal Division, but also provide information and assistance to legal practitioners and the public.
The registry is now located at 450 Little Bourke Street. Please phone 03 8600 2059 to make an appointment and to discuss alternatives to in-person attendance.
Criminal Registry staff cannot give legal advice. If you need legal advice, see the Court’s guide to free and low-cost legal help.
All material filed in the Criminal Division must be filed electronically via RedCrest.
For further information, please see the Criminal Division’s Notice to the Profession regarding eFiling and view the RedCrest information videos.
Files relating to criminal proceedings are not open for inspection unless the Court so directs. To make an application to access a document from a criminal file, please submit an Application to Search a Court file or Record form.
Applications are considered by a judge or judicial registrar, who may deny access, approve access only in part, or direct that information only be released in a redacted form or with pseudonyms applied. Further conditions may also be applied.
Practice Notes and Notices to the Profession sit alongside the Rules of Court to guide the conduct of proceedings in the Criminal Division. There are also a number of protocols and guidelines that relate to cases in the Criminal Division.
The Criminal Division Practice Notes can be found on the Practice Notes page.
- Protocol Uplift requests
- Protocol: Principles for managing children in the custody of the Supreme Court
- Multi-jurisdictional Court Guide for the Intermediary Program: Intermediaries and Ground Rules Hearing
- Guide to seeking permission to publish information about victims of sexual assault
- Guide for people seeking a victim privacy order
- Fast-tracking homicide matters