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Andrews Government to consider judge-only trials in Victoria

Victoria remains one of the few places where well-known defendants do not have the option of requesting that a judge alone oversee their criminal trial – unlike their counterparts in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia.

As reported in The Age, The new Andrews Government is considering judge-only trials, with Attorney-General Jill Hennessy asking her department to examine the matter.

President of the Victorian Bar Dr Matt Collins QC,  told Nick McCallum there can be usual cases where the accused would think he or she would get a fairer trial before a judge alone.

“If the accused is a particularly prominent person or been the subject of particularly extreme media attention,” Dr Collins said.

“The critical thing I think is that we maintain the presumption that every person accused of a crime in Australia has a right to be judged by a jury of their peers.”

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