Different states and territories have different rules about whether committal hearings are needed.
During a committal hearing, a magistrate will consider the evidence the prosecution intends to use, and decide if there is enough to take the matter to a trial. Depending on where the trial takes place, it will be held in either the Supreme, County or District Court.
If the magistrate decides the prosecution does not have enough evidence, they will dismiss the matter and the defendant will be free to leave.
At a committal hearing, there is no jury and the magistrate makes all the decisions and judgments.
- If the magistrate decides there is enough evidence, the defendant will be committed for trial. This means the matter will be heard in one of the higher courts at a later date.