Fact sheets

We have created 14 fact sheets covering a broad range of the County Court's work. Each directly responds to the VCE Legal Studies curriculum.

This collection of educational material has been prepared as a resource for VCE students and teachers. They explore many aspects of our work, our functions and court processes. They also introduce broader issues about the delivery of justice.

Overview of County Court role

This fact sheet explains our history, role and place within the Victorian legal system. It gives an overview of the kinds of cases we deal with through our different divisions (criminal, common law and commercial) and outlines our role as an appeal court. It also discusses the different kinds of laws we apply.

County Court and law reform

This looks at the law reform framework and the role we play in the process led by the Victorian Parliament. It includes examples of recent law reforms and discusses the conventions and laws governing our relationship with the media, including the reporting of judgments, suppression orders and contempt of court.

County Court work and key personnel

This outlines the difference between civil and criminal cases and gives an overview of the types of people at court, from court staff to the people involved in trials. It defines our most commonly used legal terms and explains key legal procedures.

Key organisations

This outlines the many organisations that help us deliver justice, including government departments and legal bodies such as the Victorian Bar. It explains the role of the Office of Public Prosecutions and details organisations that assist people in dealing with the Court.

Sentencing and the principles of justice

This explores how our work upholds the key principles of fairness, equality and access to justice. It investigates them in the context of hearing a criminal plea and sentence.

Criminal trial process

This outlines how a criminal trial is conducted and explains the typical processes involved, from committal hearing to sentencing. It also provides a recent case to illustrate these concepts.

Civil trial process

This outlines how a civil trial is conducted, including the choice of judge or jury.

Victims' rights and roles

This details the support and assistance available to victims of crimes being heard at the County Court. It also talks about other people affected by a trial, including family members of the victim and witnesses.

Mental illness and the Criminal law

This explains the two main ways in which mental illness becomes an issue in criminal trials. Using case examples, it details when an accused is deemed unfit to stand trial due to mental illness. It also examines the defence of mental impairment, when an accused may argue they cannot be held criminally responsible for their behaviour due to their mental state at the time of offending.

Access to justice and dispute resolution

This is about the fundamental principle of access to justice. It examines the barriers to justice faced by some members of the community and the measures we are taking to address the impact of disadvantage.

Registrars and judicial registrars

This explains the important support roles played by registrars and judicial registrars, including hearing Interlocutory matters and dispute resolution through mediation.

Protection of rights

This examines the different sources of rights in both criminal and civil matters, and highlights the protection of rights within the context of several cases.

Appointment, role and powers of judges

This examines our judges and court hierarchy, from Chief Judge to non-judicial officers.

County Koori Court

This provides an overview of the first Australian specialist court for indigenous offenders in a higher jurisdiction. It explains the need for such a court and the way it delivers justice with the help of Aboriginal Elders and other Respected Persons.

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Page last updated: 17 October 2018