Judge alone - criminal trial

Judge alone criminal trials are rare and are not easy to obtain unless you have the consent of the crown prosecutor. This page looks at what you need to argue to obtain a judge alone trial.

How can I Elect for a Judge Only Trial?

Either you or the Crown may apply to the court for a “trial by judge order”, which means you will be tried by a judge alone. The court will make a trial by judge order if both you and the Crown agree to you being tried by the judge alone.

For the court to make a trial by judge order it must also be satisfied that you have sought and received advice in relation to the effect of such an order from an Australian lawyer.

If the Crown does not agree to you being tried by a judge alone, the court can still make a trial by judge order if it considers it to be in the interest of justice to do so.

When will a court refuse an Application for a Judge Only Trial?

If you object to being tried by a judge alone the court must not make a trial by judge order.

The court may also refuse to make an order if the court considers that the factual issue in your case requires the application of objective community standards, including (but not limited to) an issue of reasonableness, negligence, indecency, obscenity or dangerousness.


If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.


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