Explore BrainMass

Explore BrainMass


    There is a large group of people involved in a functioning court system, although only a few may be commonly known by the public. There are 14 separate roles that make a court function properly¹:

    • The accused is the person with a criminal case brought against them. Sometimes this person is referred to as the defendant.
    • The associate judge (of the Supreme Court) carries out the judicial function of hearings. He/she also determines issues which arise before an after trial, but he/she does not hear trials.
    • A barrister is the legal advocate, briefed by a solicitor to present the defence of prosecution case in court.
    • A bench clerk's physical position is near the magistrate or coroner. He/she announces cases and calls people into court. The bench clerk directs individuals on where to stand, reads the charges, and administers the oath or affirmation to witnesses.
    • The defence solicitor (or duty solicitor) represents the accused in court.
    • The informant, in criminal cases, is the police officer responsible for charging the defendant. In coronial inquests, this is the officer who investigated on behalf of the coroner. In other cases, the informant is a council officer or another government official.
    • The judge is the individual who hears cases and makes decision in the County Court and Supreme Court. The judge is responsible for directing the jury about the law. The judge will impose the sentence if the accused is found guilty. 'Your Honour' is the proper way to address a judge in court.
    • The judge's associate performs various administrative and court duties to assist the judge. Duties may included completing paperwork, liaising with parties, keeping a record of court proceedings, and taking verdicts or findings in coronial hearings.
    • The magistrate is the person who hears cases and makes decisions in the Magistrates' Court and Children's Court. They decide is cases should go to another court or be put off until another day. They also decide if the defendant is guilty or not guilty, as well as the penalty.
    • The plaintiff is the individual who initiates the case in a non-criminal (civil) manner.
    • The prosecutor is the person who appears in court to present the case against the defendant in a criminal hearing.
    • The registrar manages the court. It will be a registrar or deputy registrar who will assist you at a court counter.
    • A respondent is the person against whom a civil case is brought.
    • Tipstaff announces when the court is in session, administers oaths or affirmations to witnesses. The tipstaff look after the jury.




    1. Courts & Tribunals Victoria. Roles in court. Retrieved May 12, 2014, from http://www.courts.vic.gov.au/courts-tribunals/going-court/roles-court

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com May 28, 2024, 10:49 pm ad1c9bdddf

    BrainMass Solutions Available for Instant Download

    Courts and community corrections

    How would you describe modern community corrections and give three examples in your area? What are the positives and negatives of community corrections? What are some crime convictions that should never result in a sentence of community corrections and why?

    Inexperienced Attorney

    In what way is the justice and efficacy of the legal system affected if an attorney not experienced in criminal law or a special arena of criminal law pertinent to the particular case, such as sex crimes, is appointed to represent a criminal defendant?

    The Role of a Forensic Psychologist

    A forensic psychologist is often hired by the defense or the prosecutor to assist with jury selection. What would a psychologist be looking for during voir dire and in investigations of the jury pool? What, if any, different analysis techniques might a psychologist use when assisting the defense versus assisting the prosecu

    Agencies Investigating the Boston Marathon

    Consider the Boston Bombings. 1. How many agencies were involved in the investigation? Which agency was in charge? 2. Were any political figures involved or participating: Who were they and what role did they play?

    Procedural vs. Substantive Law

    Who are the various personnel who participate in the courtroom? How does each role affect and impact shaping procedural law(s)? How does each role affect and impact shaping substantive law(s)? What changes would you recommend to improve the role of the various personnel who have a direct affect in shaping laws relating to the cr

    court purposes and responsiblities

    Give an example of a current/future issue facing courts and court administrators today. How does this issue impact the overall operations of the court system within the criminal justice system? How can we solve this issue to improve the court system and improve overall court administration? Explain