How are the particulars of a criminal charge made out?

Particulars in criminal pleadings, like the civil counterparts, inform the recipient of the factual details relating to the offence charged. This common-law requirement has been given statutory force in some jurisdictions. The requirement applies equally whether the matter be a civil offence, summary or indictable offence. Particulars will be required and the circumstances surrounding the incident in issue make it difficult for the defendant to isolate precisely what piece of behaviour will be under scrutiny and hearing. In a case for Justice Asprey where it was found that the defendant should have been given particulars which informed him which piece of driving the prosecution case was going to rely on to prove negligence the failure to provide particulars meant that the information and hence a subsequent conviction were banned the duplicity of the content to acts of negligent driving.

Except in Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory, particulars do not form part of the pleadings. They can be given orally  regardless of the form required for the information or complaint. This means that they cannot be used to Sharad insufficient pleadings. In the three jurisdictions where particulars are considered to be part of the pleadings the courts may place the same limitations on late amendments are particulars as a modern pleadings.  Concern has been expressed that poorly particulars criminal charges reflect a lost opportunity to present to the court and in particular to the jury a clear, written formulation of the issues. Law reform efforts have led to the conclusion that proposals to increase particularise action in diamonds are very favourable for this purpose. It is suggested by number of law reform reports and law commission consultation papers and enhance particularise action would not only make it easier the jury is to understand the prosecution cases the trial proceeds, but it would also provide the trial with an effective written agenda.

David Coleman is a lawyer in Sydney Australia with over 10 years experience in the legal industry. If you need legal advice or a access to a legal document click on the links contained here.