Glossary

Accused

Person charged with a criminal offence.

Additional jurors

One or more extra jurors appointed, usually for longer trials, in case a juror has to be discharged due to illness or other unforeseen circumstance.

Associate (to a judge)

A senior assistant to a judge. The associate conducts some of the formal processes of the jury empanelment on behalf of the judge.

Ballot

The random selection of prospective jurors by drawing cards out of a box.

Ballot off a juror

 

The random selection of a jury member (or members) to leave the jury. The ballot is conducted at the time the jury is required to retire to deliver its verdict, if there are excess jurors at that stage in the trial process.

Calling of the panel

A roll call of the jury panel (either by the juror’s name or by juror number) to ensure that all members of the jury panel are present in Court.

Challenge for cause

A challenge made by a party to a prospective juror to exclude them from the jury. A challenge for cause requires the party to provide a reason for the challenge. The judge must determine whether that reason is sufficient to justify the exclusion of that prospective juror.

Crown

A representative of the Victorian or Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions responsible for prosecuting indictable offences.

Crown right to stand
aside

A challenge made by the Crown to exclude a prospective juror from the jury.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)

The Director of Public Prosecutions makes decisions about whether to prosecute serious criminal matters and is independent of government. The Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP (Vic)) is responsible for offences under Victorian law, and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) is responsible for offences under federal law.

Discharge a juror

To release a juror from the jury after the jury has been sworn in.

Empanelment of the jury/ empanelling the jury

The process of selecting the jury for a trial.

Excuse

A reason for not being able to attend for jury service or to sit on the jury for a particular case.

Foreperson

The juror selected by the jury to be their spokesperson.

Indictable offences

Serious crimes which attract higher maximum penalties, usually triable before a judge and a jury.

Judicial direction/jury direction

Instructions provided by the judge to the jury. These directions guide the conduct of jurors and provide instructions on how they should decide the case.

Juries Commissioner’s Office (JCO)

The office responsible for jury administration in Victoria.

Juror

A member of the jury.

Jury

The group of jurors selected to make findings of guilt or otherwise in criminal matters and findings of fault and damages in civil matters. The jury is randomly selected from the jury panel.

Jury panel

The group of prospective jurors from which the selection of the jury is made in court. The jury panel is randomly selected from the jury pool.

Jury pool

The group of prospective jurors from which the jury panel is randomly selected. Jury pool members attend the JCO for jury service in response to a summons.

Order

A direction by a court or tribunal that is final and binding unless overturned on appeal.

Peremptory challenge

A challenge made by a party to a prospective juror to exclude them from the jury. A party is not required to provide a reason for making a peremptory challenge.

Plea

An accused’s answer to a charge of an offence, which usually takes the form of ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’.

Procedural fairness

The requirement that legal proceedings are conducted in a manner that is fair. In particular, procedural fairness requires that parties have the opportunity to be heard, and have their disputes determined by an impartial decision maker.

Prospective juror

A person who has been summoned to attend for jury service, but not yet selected for a jury.

Summons for jury service

Notification by the JCO to a person that they are required to attend for jury service.

Tipstaff

An assistant to a judge. The tipstaff conducts some of the formal court processes, and looks after the jury during the trial.

Victorian Parliament Law Reform Committee

A committee of government and non-government members of the Victorian Parliament, established to consider issues of law reform referred to it by the Victorian Government, now the Law Reform, Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee since June 2013.

Voir dire

A process used in jury selection in the United States where individual prospective jurors are questioned by the parties before being selected.

 

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