Criminal Division

The Criminal Division hears indictable offences under Victorian and Commonwealth law, as well as appeals from the Magistrates' Court and Children's Court.

The County Court is the principal trial court in Victoria. The Criminal Division has jurisdiction to hear all indictable offences except for treason, murder and related offences.

The majority of serious indictable offences committed in Victoria are dealt with in the Criminal Division. His Honour Judge Gamble is the head of the Criminal Division. The Criminal Division deals with a broad range of criminal matters under both Victorian and Commonwealth legislation, including serious theft, armed robbery, aggravated burglary, drug trafficking, sexual offences, fraud and dishonesty offences, culpable driving and serious assaults.

The Criminal Division’s workload is made up of a range of hearings including:

  • trials
  • plea hearings
  • appeals from the Magistrates’ Court and Children’s Court, and
  • post-sentence supervision hearings such as applications for and reviews of Supervision Orders pursuant to the Serious Offenders Act, contraventions of Community Correction Orders and judicial monitoring.

Each year the Criminal Division hears approximately 350 trials that run to verdict, 1,300 plea hearings, 3,500 appeals and more than 1,000 post-sentence supervision hearings.

Within the Criminal Division there are a number of lists and specialist courts including:

Judges in these lists are experienced trial judges who actively case manage trials to ensure that all pre-trial issues are identified and an accurate trial estimate is given.

In addition to hearing criminal matters in Melbourne, the Criminal Division of the County Court sits at 12 circuit locations situated in major regional centres.

Indicative time to hearings

Consistent with the Court’s commitment to openness, transparency and performance, the current indicative times to trial, plea and appeal hearings appear in the table below.

Hearing type Time to hearing
Custody trials (all durations) 12 months
5-day trials 12 months
10-day trials 13 months
15-day trials 13 months
Long trials 13 months
Plea hearings 5 months
Sentence appeals 2 months
Conviction appeals 3 months

Practice notes

The practice notes for the Criminal Division can be accessed here.

Criminal Division newsletters

The Criminal Division newsletters can be accessed here.

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Page last updated: 29 August 2019