What is a pre-trial conference

If you claim trial during your court mention, the Mentions Court may fix the case for a pre-trial conference (PTC).

The purpose of the PTC is to sort out administrative matters to ensure that the trial proceeds as efficiently as possible. This includes ensuring that:

  • Both you and the prosecution have organised your witnesses and evidence for trial.
  • The range of issues to be covered during the trial is as narrow as possible.
Tip

You may apply to change your PTC dates in writing or via the Integrated Case Management System (ICMS) (for State Courts cases) if you have valid reasons for being unable to attend court.

What to expect

You have to attend the PTC together with the prosecution (who will be represented by a prosecuting officer).

You and the prosecution will inform the judge of the evidence you will present at trial and the witnesses you will call. The judge will also let you know whether criminal case disclosure conference (CCDC) procedures apply to your case.

Depending on the nature of your case, you may have to attend more than one PTC until the PTC judge is satisfied that the case is ready for trial. Once satisfied, the PTC judge will schedule dates for the trial.

The PTC judge does not decide on your guilt or innocence. The trial will be heard by another judge.

Note

If you are charged with an offence specified in sections 375 to 377B of the Penal Code, your case will be transferred to the High Court where it will be heard. This process is known as a transmission proceeding (1).

What to prepare

You should be prepared to do the following:

  • Ask if the prosecution intends to use any written statement you gave to the police; and if so, you may request for a copy of that statement.
  • Indicate to the court the number of witnesses that you wish to call at the trial.
  • If you or your witnesses are not comfortable giving evidence in English, inform the judge you require an interpreter.

You should also be prepared to briefly outline your defence to the PTC judge, if asked. The PTC judge does not decide whether your defence is successful - that is for the trial judge to do.

Resources

Refer to:

2021/03/02

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