The Criminal Division of the Supreme Court of Victoria hears trials, pleas and applications in serious criminal matters such as murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, treason as well as fraud, sexual offences and major drug trafficking offences.
In a criminal trial a jury of 12 people selected at random from the community decides if an accused is guilty or not guilty based on the facts of the case. All other decisions, including any sentences to be imposed, are made by the judge alone.
The Division's work is not confined to trials and plea hearings. Judges of the Division also hear applications under the following Acts:
- Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 (Cth)
- Bail Act 1977
- Crimes (Assumed Identities) Act 2004
- Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997
- Major Crime (Investigative Powers) Act 2004
- Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009
- Surveillance Devices Act 1999
- Terrorism (Community Protection) Act 2003
- Witness Protection Act 1991
Regional Circuit Court sittings are an important aspect of the Criminal Division's work and provide a great opportunity for the regional community to participate in the judicial process. The Division sits in Melbourne and the regional centres of Mildura, Ballarat, Geelong, Bendigo, Sale, Shepparton and Wodonga.
Judges of the Criminal Division
The Principal Judge of the Criminal Division is the Honourable Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth. For a list of current Criminal Division Judges see the judicial organisational chart.
Relevant Practice Notes
- Practice Note SC CR 1 Case Management Procedure for Criminal Trials
- Practice Note SC CR 2 Bail Applications and Appeals
- Practice Note SC CR 3 Expert Evidence in Criminal Trials
- Practice Note SC CR 4 Sentencing Hearings
- Practice Note SC CR 5 Applications and Reviews under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997
- Practice Note SC CR 6 Applications to be heard by Judges of the Criminal Division
- Practice Note SC CR 7 Expert reports on mental functioning of offenders