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Court Visit

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Topics: Jury, Judge, Court
Following a brief investigation of the court listings for the 21st November 2013, I viewed the Court & Tribunal Services website that can be seen at the following URL,

http://www.courts.dotag.wa.gov.au/_apps/courtlists/default.aspx

Upon review of the daily listings, discussions with Court personnel and review of the proceedings in progress at the time of my visit to the District Court of Western Australia (500 Hay Street, Perth 6000), I attended the following Criminal Proceedings which is Trial by Jury before the Honourable Justice Hall,

1. The State of Western Australia v. Ambrose John Clarke (INS 82/2012)
2. The State of Western Australia v. Xavier Gerard Clarke (INS 82/2012)
On entry to court-room 4.1, the following was noted. The Judge was seated at the head of the court-room on the top tier, directly under the Western Australian Coat of Arms that includes a black swan between two Kangaroos. Several monitors for evidence viewing were hanging on the walls. The next tier lower included two court clerks. From the viewpoint of the Judge, the jury box including 14 Jurors were seated to the left side of the court room under the supervision of a Jury Officer, whilst the two defendants were seated in the segregated area to the right under the supervision of a Sherriff. An additional two Sheriff’s were seated at each end of the viewing gallery situated at the rear of the court room.

The Prosecutor (x2) seated on the left side of the court room on the ground level directly in front of the jury box facing the Judge, whilst the Defendants Defense Counsel (x3) seated on the ground level directly in front of the Defendant’s area facing the Judge.

Support personnel for the Prosecutor and Defense Counsel seated directly behind respectively. Prosecutor and Defense Counsels attire included Black Robes, whilst Defendants and Witnesses wore suits.

Two brothers (Defendants) are currently on trial in the WA Supreme Court (highest Court of Western Australia) for the murder of Peter Davis, a Perth businessman. It is alleged that the cause of the murder was money that was owed in the order of $300K. Mr Peter Davis’ body was found in the boot of a car outside a Riverdale Motel in May 2011. See following link,

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/bodyinboot-murder-accused-ambrose-john-clarke-takes-stand/story-fnhocxo3-1226764771059

The high level of formality for all functions during the proceedings was noted. The manner in which documents were entered into evidence, through to transcripts created for daily proceedings was at the highest standard. All parties including the viewing gallery behaved with the highest level of respect for the judicial system.

Court documentation including secure custody and safekeeping of records including proceedings and appeals is the responsibility of The Registry (where documents are lodged and filed in the courts). The Principal Registry of the High Court of Australia is located at the seat of the Court in Canberra, whilst offices of the Registry are in capital cities of each State and Darwin. The Registrar is a senior administrative official who maintains the register or any other records.

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