Trial before Judge alone may be ordered

102 Judge may order Judge-alone trial in cases likely to be long and complex

(1)

This section applies if the defendant is charged with an offence that is not—

(a)

an offence for which the maximum penalty is imprisonment for life or imprisonment for 14 years or more; or

(b)

an offence of attempting or conspiring to commit, or of being a party to the commission of, or of being an accessory after the fact to, an offence referred to in paragraph (a).

(2)

The court may, on the application of the prosecutor, or of its own motion, order that the defendant be tried for the offence before a Judge without a jury.

(3)

An application by the prosecutor under subsection (2) must be made before the trial within the time prescribed by rules of court.

(4)

The court must not make an order under subsection (2) unless the prosecutor and the defendant have been given an opportunity to be heard in relation to the application and, following such hearing, the court is satisfied—

(a)

that all reasonable procedural orders (if any), and all other reasonable arrangements (if any), to facilitate the shortening of the trial have been made, but the duration of the trial still seems likely to exceed 20 sitting days; and

(b)

that, in the circumstances of the case, the defendant’s right to trial by jury is outweighed by the likelihood that potential jurors will not be able to perform their duties effectively.

(5)

For the purposes of subsection (4)(b) the court must consider the following matters:

(a)

the number and nature of the offences with which the defendant is charged:

(b)

the nature of the issues likely to be involved:

(c)

the volume of evidence likely to be presented:

(d)

the imposition on potential jurors of sitting for the likely duration of the trial:

(e)

any other matters the court considers relevant.

(6)

If the defendant is one of 2 or more co-defendants to be tried together, all of them must be tried before a Judge with a jury unless an order under subsection (2) for all of them to be tried by a Judge without a jury is applied for and made.

(7)

This section does not limit section 103.

Compare: 1961 No 43 s 361D