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Where the court orders that the matter be heard on another day (as opposed to a remand, where the court orders that the person appear on another day such as when the person is on bail or in custody).


Statements from which police suggest an inference of guilt can be drawn (usually a full or part confession).


A test taken of drivers by police at random breath testing stations. This is a small hand held unit that drivers usually blow into without leaving their vehicles. If the reading shows that there may be more than the prescribed concentration of alcohol in the blood, the police may require the person to submit to a breath analysis.

See breath analysis.


The police version of the events the subject of the charge, as contained in the apprehension report, which becomes part of the prosecution file.

See apprehension report.

Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands

Land granted to the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara body corporate, of which all Anangu are members, pursuant to the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights Act 1981. The Magistrates Court regularly visits the APY Lands on its north-west circuit.

answer charge hearing

An appearance in the Magistrates Court where a defendant is formally asked to answer a criminal charge. If the defendant does not plead guilty, the court will go on to take evidence as part of the committal process, to determine if the defendant should be put on trial for the offence(s).


Prior offences

AP (apprehension report)

The report of the arrest made by the investigating police officer, containing the allegations and a brief outline of the victim's version of events. This report forms the basis of the prosecution's case. It is a document on the police file which is usually made available to the accused's solicitor so they will know what the allegations against the accused person are. Each report is numbered (e.g. AP/98/1234). The number often appears on the top of the complaint or information, for easy reference.

See allegations.

approved treatment centre

Any hospital, clinic or other premises, or any particular part of such a place, declared under Division 5 Part 12 section 96 of the Mental Health Act 2009 to be an approved treatment centre for the purposes of the Act. James Nash House, the Adelaide Clinic, the Repatriation General Hospital and Modbury Hospital are approved treatment centres. People may voluntarily admit themselves or be admitted or detained by order of a medical practitioner, subject to review/confirmation by a psychiatrist and/or the Guardianship Board in circumstances and within time limits specified in the Mental Health Act 2009.

See James Nash House.


Release from custody, often with conditions, to appear in court at a future date.

bail agreement

The agreement between the person being released and the authority granting bail as to the terms of release.

bail assessment report

A report, requested by the Court, sometimes at the behest of defence, prepared by probation officers attached to the Court Liason Unit of the Department for Correctional Services as to whether suitable conditions such as accommodation and supervision exist for a person's release on bail.

See Court Liaison Unit.

bail authorities

People who can grant bail such as the police, Magistrates, District and Supreme Court Judges, as authorised under section 5 of the Bail Act 1985.

bail review

On application from a person refused bail (or the DPP) there can be a review by a Supreme Court Judge of the decision to refuse bail, or of the conditions of bail imposed by a Magistrate or District Court Judge [see Bail Act 1985 s 14].

BTC (bail to continue)

Bail to continue (endorsement on court file).

bench warrant

A bench warrant is a warrant of apprehension issued in a higher jurisdiction (District Court or Supreme Court) because the defendant either failed to answer bail in that jurisdiction following committal of an indictable matter or failed to answer a summons to appear in relation to estreatment of bond proceedings.

blood test

A test of a person's blood to determine whether it contains alcohol or drugs, taken for example after a breath analysis of a driver showing more than the prescribed concentration of alcohol, or from people involved in a car accident or from the alleged assailant and/or victim after an assault.


A sentence option under which a person found guilty of an offence promises to be of good behaviour for a stipulated period. The bond may or may not be subject to supervision, and is usually sanctioned by forfeiture of a stipulated sum of money. In the Youth Court an order in these terms is referred to as an obligation [see Young Offenders Act 1993 s 26].

breach of bond

A bond is breached where a person fails to comply with the conditions of the bond. As it is always a condition of the bond that a person be of good behaviour, a person breaches the bond if they commit a criminal offence.

breath analysis

A test taken to determine the concentration of alcohol in a person’s blood, after the person has blown a sample of their breath into a breath analysis machine. The result may be further checked by a blood test at the election of the person being tested.

call over

A regular sitting of the Court where the Magistrate or Judge runs through the daily or weekly list of cases with defence counsel and prosecution to work out which cases are for mention or plea and which are proceeding to trial, and allocating each a time and court location.

camera offence

A traffic offence detected by a speed camera, for which the owner of the car receives a traffic infringement notice.

CEN (cannabis expiation notice)

A cannabis expiation notice may be issued by police for simple offences relating to possession (of less than 100g of cannabis plant material or less than 20 grams of cannabis resin) or cultivation (of 1 plant not hydroponically grown), or of an instrument used in taking cannabis, such as a pipe or bong.

care and protection order

An order made by the Youth Court on the application of the Minister who must be of the opinion that a child is at risk, and that an order needs to be made to secure care and protection for a child.

cash surety

A cash surety is a sum of money deposited with the Court by the defendant and/or their guarantor as a condition of bail. It is forfeited if the defendant does not comply with the Court's orders (e.g. to appear or to comply with other terms of a bail agreement).

See surety.

CFB (certified for bail)

A determination by a Magistrate when a warrant is issued , and endorsed on the warrant and court file as either CFB (certified for bail) or NCFB (not certified for bail), as to whether or not the police may grant bail to a person.

See not certified for bail.

charge determination

A determination made by the DPP after receiving a preliminary brief for an indictable matter, determining what appropriate charge(s) will be proceeded with through the committal process.

child protection restraining order

An order under section 99A or 99AAC of the Criminal Procedure Act 1921 (SA) restraining a defendant in his or her behaviour in relation to children generally or to a child or children in particular.


The decision by a Magistrate that the prosecution has filed sufficient evidence with the Court to justify trial in a superior court; the order remitting a person for trial or plea to the superior court.

committal appearance

The first hearing in committal proceedings for indictable offences. Heard in the Magistrates Court.

committal brief

A brief that is filed by prosecution prior to an answer charge hearing for an indictable matter. The brief contains material as relevant to the matter and contained in section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1921 (SA).

committal proceedings

Where the Magistrates' Court hears evidence on an indictable charge and decides whether the accused should be sent for trial for the offence(s).

community service

Supervised community work imposed as a primary penalty, or as a condition of a bond with a suspended sentence, or as an alternative to imprisonment by default where a defendant has been unable to pay a fine, where the Court is satisfied that there is a reasonably accessible placement for the defendant.

compensation order

A penalty order, where property damage is caused as a result of an offence, that the victim of the offence be compensated for their loss. If an order for compensation is not made where the circumstances suggest that such an order would be appropriate, the court must give reasons for not doing so.

concurrent sentence

A sentence that runs at the same time as another sentence.

conditional release

A form of supervised release where the defendant is deemed by the Court to have been mentally incompetent to commit the offence as a result of mental impairment such as where there is a finding of 'not guilty by reason of mental impairment'. This term is also used to describe the release of a youth on conditions from a detention order.

conditions of bail

The date and time when, and the place where a bailed person next has to appear in court, and any other conditions such as accommodation, supervision, cash surety, guarantee, or restrictions on who they may contact whilst on bail, or where they may travel or reside.

convenience plea

Where a defendant wishes to plead guilty to get the matter out of the way simply and cheaply, but at the same time wishes to maintain a denial of the offence. The Magistrate cannot accept this plea and will usually order that it be struck out and recommend that the defendant seek advice from the duty solicitor whilst the matter is held in the list. Never act for a defendant on a "convenience plea".

CWOP (conviction without penalty)

Conviction without penalty (endorsement on court, police files and on criminal record).

court costs

In addition to any fine, court costs and administrative charges are payable, the amount depending on the number of charges: e.g.Adult court costs $183.00 (1 charge), $223.50 (if 2 or more charges); Youth court costs $177.00 (1 charge), $216.25 plus victims of crime levy for adults where expiated $60.00; any other case $160.00; indictable $260.00 (but in some cases can be double) [see Victims of Crime (Fund and Levy) Regulations 2003 sch 1]; victims of crime levy for youth not to exceed $100 (but where the levy is double not to exceed $180.00) plus prosecution administration fee $16 (for any number of charges) ($10 in the Youth Court). If a defendant has been found guilty after pleading not guilty, court costs may also include additional prosecution administration fees plus witness fees.

Court Liaison Unit

A unit of the Department for Correctional Services located in the Adelaide Magistrates Court, responsible for the preparation of reports and initial interviews for probationers and so forth.

custody agreement

Section 96 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (SA) provides for agreements as to custody to be made for a child or young person. Voluntary custody agreements can be entered into for no more than 6 months (2 x 3 months) without formal procedures such as a family care meeting or an application for care and protection.

decs (declarations)

Sworn written statements of witnesses that are filed with the Court and provided by the prosecution to defence prior to committal.

defence of mental impairment

This replaces the previous defence of not guilty by reason of insanity. The consequences of a finding of 'not guilty by reason of mental incompetence' include detention in secure psychiatric care, or a lengthy period of conditional release on licence [see Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 s 269].


The expression used for the imprisonment of a youth in a Training Centre or for a person's detention under the Mental Health Act 2009 or the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935.

detention and treatment order

This is an order made under the Mental Health Act, 2009, for the detention and treatment of a person who is found by an authorised medical practitioner, or authorised health professional, to be suffering from a mental illness and requiring treatment for their own protection from harm, or for the protection of others. The detention at a treatment centre can be for up to seven days. The detention and treatment order can be extended in certain circumstances.


General deterrence is the concept that the sentence imposed on a particular offender will deter others from committing similar offences. Special or personal deterrence is the concept that the sentence imposed will deter the offender him or herself from re-offending. There is no concept of general deterrence in the Youth Court of South Australia.

discharge of bond

Satisfaction or completion of the terms of the bond.

disputed facts hearing

This hearing is held when an accused person intimates to the Court that they wish to plead guilty to the charge but dispute the facts alleged. Evidence is called so that the Court can determine the facts. The defendant is then sentenced in accordance with the findings of facts.

divisional penalties

In most State Acts, the penalties for offences are stated as divisional penalties and the actual amounts are not stated. Divisional penalties are set out in the Acts Interpretation Act 1915.

DUI (driving under the influence)

The offence of driving under the influence is to be distinguished from PCA because with DUI there must be evidence that the defendant was incapable of controlling the vehicle [see Road Traffic Act 1961 s 47].

See prescribed concentration of alcohol.

Drug Assessment Service

Where a simple possession offence is alleged to have been committed under the Controlled Substances Act 1984, the person is referred to a Drug Assessment Service and panel [see Controlled Substances Act 1984 s 36]. The panel assesses the treatment needs of the person and may formulate an undertaking as to treatment assistance including participation in a program of "an educative, preventive or rehabilitative" nature to which the person is required to submit. A breach of the undertaking or the person indicating an unwillingness to be assessed will result in the charge(s) being referred to court. The successful completion of an undertaking means that no further legal action will be taken.

education programs

A sentence option under the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988 giving courts the power to send offenders to education programs approved by the Attorney-General. If they agree, an offender may be sent to such a program at their own cost, or at the expense of the Department of Correctional Services.


Where a person pleads not guilty to a minor indictable offence, he or she may elect whether to be tried summarily, by a Magistrate or by a Judge and jury in a superior court.

estreatment of bail

An order, when a person breaches a condition of bail, that monies stipulated in the bail agreement are to be forfeited. For example, this may involve the person's own cash surety, or a guarantor may be required to pay the amount guaranteed.

estreatment of bond

The enforcement of the sanction(s) in the bond, which may include forfeiture of money and the imposition of other penalties set out in the bond which have otherwise been suspended, such as a term of imprisonment.

ex gratia payment

In serious cases of a person being unlawfully held in custody (e.g. beyond the time required for them to be brought to court, and/or for defective reasons), the Crown Solicitor may authorise an ex gratia payment to compensate them for the experience of unnecessary time in custody (this has been calculated in the past on a rate between $50-$200 per day).

ex parte

Ex parte applications are those brought by one party in the absence of the other(s). The prosecution often bring ex parte applications in the Magistrates Court where the defendant has failed to appear, seeking orders that the Magistrate find the charge proved. In some instances penalty will be imposed without the defendant being present, and in others the Magistrate will issue a warrant requiring the defendant to attend for sentence.

execution of warrant

A warrant of apprehension is executed by police arresting a person or a person surrendering to police and then appearing in court.


A method of disposal of a charge by payment of a prescribed fee. Where the expiation fee set for an offence is paid within time, no prosecution for the offence may proceed. The payment of an expiation fee may not be regarded as an admission of guilt.

expiation fee

Standard scales for expiation fees are set out in the divisional penalties in section 28A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1915.

See divisional penalties.

expiation notice

Under some Acts, the police must serve an alleged offender with an expiation notice explaining that the offence may be expiated by payment to the Commissioner of Police of the prescribed expiation fee before a certain time. When an expiation notice remains unpaid after the due date, unless the person has elected to be prosecuted, they will automatically be found guilty of the offence.

extradition warrant

Extradition warrants are issued in one State/Territory and executed in another to extradite a person charged with a criminal offence from one State/Territory to the jurisdiction in which he or she is to be tried. Interstate extradition procedures are governed by part 5 of the Service and Execution of Process Act 1992 (Cth). Under this Act, a provisional warrant is issued in the State where the person is located to detain them until the original warrant is served on them.

family care meetings

Meetings convened by the Courts Department under the Children’s Protection Act to work out future care arrangements for children identified by the Department for Family and Youth Services as potentially ‘at risk’. The meetings are attended by the child, the child’s parents or guardians and anyone who has had a close association with the child. The child may have an advocate there.

family conference

A pre-court diversion (an alternative to a police caution) where a youth is a first offender or relatively low-level offender and admits to the alleged offending. Matters dealt with by family conference are not formally charged and do not come before the Youth Court unless the youth fails to attend or does not admit the offence, or subsequently fails to comply with an undertaking as to penalty.

first instance warrant

This is a warrant of apprehension issued by a Magistrates Court when a defendant has failed to appear on the date stipulated on either the summons or the bail agreement.

See warrant of apprehension.

fitness to instruct

The question of whether a person is fit to instruct you rationally. Defendants who have managed to attend court themselves at the appropriate time may be reasonably aware of their circumstances, but people arrested and brought to court in custody may be in a disturbed condition due to many factors e.g. illness or the stress of incarceration, and may, permanently or temporarily, lack competence to instruct you.

fitness to plead

The question of whether a person is competent to decide how to plead to an offence. This needs expert psychiatric or psychological opinion. Unfitness to instruct may be one indication that a person is not fit to plead.

forfeiture order

For some criminal offences, the court has power to order the forfeiture of goods used in connection with the offence or which the defendant may use to profit by the offence.

Form 2

Where the police refuse bail, they are required by section 10(1) of the Bail Act 1985 to complete a Form 2 Written reasons for refusal of bail application. A copy is attached to the court file, and contained in the prosecution file.

formal police caution

Where police have decided that a formal, recorded caution is appropriate, no formal complaint is laid, but the allegations must be reduced to writing in the police officer's report and made available to the youth and their guardian. A formal caution is delivered by a senior police officer in uniform in the presence of the youth's guardian or an adult person associated with the youth. It need not be given at a police station and may take place e.g. at the youth's home, school, or where a matter has come to court but been referred back to a formal caution under section 17(2) of the Young Offenders Act 1993, in the precincts of the Court itself. Before a caution can be delivered, the allegations must be admitted by the youth and they must acknowledge the caution in writing.

Glenside Hospital

Now known as the Glenside Campus of the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH), this is a facility where, among other things, people suffering from mental illness can be detained in locked wards. If they are prisoners they must be bailed to do so.


A person who undertakes to the Court that he or she will guarantee a person's compliance with a court order, at the risk of forfeiting a monetary sum upon non-compliance. Guarantors are often required before bail will be granted.

head sentence

A sentence of imprisonment (of 12 months or more) that may attract a non-parole period. The head sentence is also known as the period 'on the top' of a sentence.

home detention bail

An alternative to custody where there is no prospect of simple bail. Where the applicant has stable accommodation with telephone facilities, the Magistrate may order a home detention bail assessment report to confirm whether this accommodation is suitable for connection to the electronic facilities and wristlet by which home detention bail is monitored.

indictable offence

Indictable offences (major and minor) are the more serious two of the three categories of State offences set out in s.5 of the Summary Procedure Act, 1921 (the other being summary offences). People charged with minor indictable offences have the right to trial by jury if they so elect.

informal police caution

Where an offence is trivial in nature and it is admitted by the youth it may be dealt with ‘on the spot’ by a police officer cautioning the youth against further offending. Where such an informal caution is given, no further proceedings may be taken, but a record is kept, which may be used in further Youth Court matters.

interstate warrant

An interstate warrant is a warrant for apprehension that has been executed under section 113 of the Service and Execution of Process Act 1992 (Cth) where a person has not paid a fine in another state and is therefore liable to be imprisoned. The person must be brought before a court of the state in which they are apprehended, where usually an application is made for the Court to suspend the execution of an order for imprisonment and grant a reasonable extension of time to pay the fine.

See warrant of commitment.

intervention order

An order made by police or on application to the Court ex parte regulating a defendant's behaviour towards a protected person. The initial order is interim, followed at a later date by a hearing at which the defendant may make submission and the Court varies, confirms or discharges the order. A determination hearing is then held at which time the Court may vary, confirm or discharge the order. Intervention orders may be sought to prevent either domestic or non-domestic abuse.

investigation and assessment order

Under ss 20-25 of the Children's Protection Act 1993 an investigation and assessment order by the Court is required before Families SA which is part of the Department for Education and Child Development can carry out medical investigations of a child. These are almost always emergency applications, following a s 16 or s 17 removal of the child at risk.

issue of warrant

Warrants of apprehension may either issue immediately, or under section 65 of the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988, be postponed or suspended if the Court agrees to accept some arrangement for payment of the fine.

James Nash House

An approved treatment centre within the grounds of Hillcrest Hospital where prisoners may be detained for secure psychiatric care. 


A Pitjantjatjara word meaning 'what's his name'. It is used so as not to disturb memories of the dead by using their actual name. Instead, the dead person or anyone else with the same name is, for a certain time after the death, referred to as 'Kunmanara'.

lie on the file

A warrant of apprehension is said to 'lie on the file' when, after ordering the warrant, the Magistrate decides not to require it to be issued immediately because there is good reason for the person's non-appearance in court and a satisfactory undertaking is made as to the next appearance. The court and police files are endorsed with WTLOF. If the person fails to appear at the next date the warrant will issue. The police will then have the power to execute it.

See warrant of apprehension.

major indictable offence

Major indictable matters can only be dealt with in the District or Supreme Court. They are conducted by the Committal Unit whilst they remain before the Magistrates Court, and are taken over by the DPP once they reach the District/Supreme Court.

minor indictable offence

Minor indictable offences can be dealt with in the summary jurisdiction or, if the defendant so elects and is pleading not guilty, can be tried before a Judge and jury in the District Court. If dealt with in the Magistrates Court, minor indictable matters are prosecuted by the police. If the defendant elects for trial by jury, the Committal Unit (staffed by solicitors from the State DPP) takes over the conduct of the matter in the Magistrates Court, and when the matter goes to the District Court, the DPP takes over.

NAD (no appearance defendant)

No appearance defendant (endorsement on court/prosecution file)

no case to answer submission

An application made by defence at committal after the prosecution has presented all the evidence supporting the charge, or at trial at the close of the prosecution case, that there is not sufficient evidence to commit the matter to trial (at committal) or make out the charge (at trial). If the application is made successfully at trial, the charges are dismissed.

non-parole period

When a State court sentences a defendant to imprisonment for 12 months or more (the head sentence or the period 'on the top' of the sentence), it usually fixes a non-parole period or, if one already exists, reviews and extends it, unless it is of the opinion that it would be inappropriate to fix one. The non-parole period (period 'on the bottom' of the sentence) is the minimum period which the prisoner must serve in prison or on home detention (for these purposes home detention is regarded as imprisonment, albeit at home).

See pre-release period.

NCFB (not certified for bail)

Not certified for bail (endorsement on the court file or warrant meaning that the police may not give bail). This is sometimes recorded as PBE meaning Police Bail Excluded.

See certified for bail.

overnight arrests

People arrested on the previous day or night or on the weekend and held in custody before being brought to court. Dealing with overnight arrests or custodies is a priority for duty solicitors.


Release after completion of the head sentence (may be applicable in cases of imprisonment for 12 months or more).

Parole Board

A state statutory board to whom prisoners who are about to complete their non-parole period are referred for assessment for parole.

parole warrant

A warrant of apprehension issued by a justice on the application of the Parole Board where a person has been released on parole and has breached a condition of parole [see Correctional Services Act 1982 s 76].

person under restraint

A person 'otherwise under restraint' (a term used in the context of extradition) is a person either on bail, on parole, on release from prison on conditional licence, on work-release, on home detention, on a supervised bond or under a community service order. Where an extradition warrant is to be executed in relation to such a person, their supervisor must be notified so that they can explain the terms of the restraint to the Court.


A person brought before a court on a criminal charge must plead to it either by admitting their guilt (a plea of guilty), denying their guilt (a plea of not guilty), or saying they are not guilty by reason of mental impairment unless they are found by the Court to be unfit to plead. The term 'plea' is often used to mean a plea of guilty and related submissions from counsel.

police bail

Bail granted by the police to a person in police custody (as opposed to bail granted by a Magistrate or Judge).

police caution

A pre-court diversion (the alternative to a family conference) where a youth is a first offender or relatively low-level offender and admits to the alleged offending.

pre-court diversion

Police cautions and family conferences are pre-court diversions under the Young Offenders Act 1993.

pre-release period

The equivalent of a non-parole period for Commonwealth offences.

pre-sentence report

A report, ordered by a Magistrate or Judge, often at the suggestion of defence counsel, where a guilty plea is entered and the Court is considering the appropriateness of a sentence of imprisonment. The report is prepared for the Court by a probation officer from the Department for Correctional Services.

preliminary brief

A collection of information, evidence and documents relating to an indictable offence, which is provided by SA Police to the DPP to enable the DPP to make a charge determination.

PCA (prescribed concentration of alcohol)

The offence of driving with more than the prescribed concentration of alcohol [ see Road Traffic Act 1961 s 47B].

presumption of bail

A legal presumption that a person is entitled to bail unless certain circumstances exist to rebut this presumption [see Bail Act 1985 s 10(1)].

probation officer

The full title is Probation and Parole Officer - an officer of the Department for Correctional Services, usually with social work qualifications, whose role is to assess and supervise offenders as directed by the Court.


A defendant who has entered into a bond under the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988.


An undertaking or agreement to pay a sum to the Court in the event of non-compliance with a court order. For exemple, the order 'Bailed to appear in this court on 12 December on the defendant's own recognisance of $X' means that the defendant agrees to appear in court on that day and to forfeit the sum of $X if they do not do so.

recognisance release order

The Commonwealth equivalent of a State bond to be of good behaviour.

record of police cautions

Matters which are admitted at police caution are recorded as prior criminal offending and brought up in any further Youth Court matters, but will not be alleged in adult matters.

record of prior offences

The police maintain records of adult and juvenile prior court appearances (whether the person was convicted or not) and convictions. These are perpetual records they are not expunged after a period of time.

release on parole

Once the non-parole period has expired, the prisoner may be released on parole, subject to their agreeing to be bound by conditions set by the Parole Board.


Where the Court orders that the person appear on another day - when the person is on bail or in custody (as opposed to an adjournment, when the Court orders the matter be heard on another day).

remission of sentence

There is no remission of sentence for good behaviour - this was abolished by the Statutes Amendment (Truth in Sentencing) Act 1994. (Previously prisoners could earn a good behaviour remission of up to one-third of their sentence).

residential assessment unit

Temporary residential units run by Families SA which is part of the Department for Education and Child Development where children are assessed for residential placement.

search warrant

A warrant issued by the Commissioner of Police authorising police to search a person and/or their property. In South Australia police have general search warrants issued to them which are valid for 6 months at a time.


A sentence means (a) the imposition of a penalty; or (b) the decision of a court to offer a defendant an opportunity to enter into a bond; or (c) the fixing or extending of a non-parole period; or (d) the making of any other order or direction affecting penalty [see Criminal Law (Sentencing) Ac 1988 s 3].Sentences may take the form of fines, imprisonment, suspended imprisonment, home detention, and good behaviour bonds (including referral for drug or alcohol assessment, or education programs).

separate representative

Section 64 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (SA) provides that in proceedings under that Act in the Youth Court (e.g. in need of care proceedings) all children and young people are to be represented unless the court is satisfied that they have made an informed and independent decision not to be represented or that the application should be heard as a matter of urgency. A separate representative for the child is appointed by the Court (usually a specialist lawyer from the Legal Services Commission). The parties (i.e. the Minister, and the parents/guardians) have their own representation.

SBR (social background report)

A pre-sentence report in the Youth Court.

special reasons application

A special reasons application is made by defence before committal and after the declarations have been provided by the prosecution to challenge, by cross examination of prosecution witnesses, aspects of the prosecution's evidence as revealed in the declarations (e.g. to examine the circumstances in which an identification was made). If the application is successful, a special reasons hearing is held at which the prosecution presents its witnesses for cross-examination. Strict time limits apply.

summary offence

A minor offence which is dealt with summarily i.e. by a Magistrate and not by a Judge and jury.


Most prosecutions for minor offences are commenced by the issuing of a summons to which a person may plead guilty and not attend court. A guilty plea can be entered by writing on the back of the form details the defendant would like the Court to take into account when it fixes a penalty. Prosecutions for more serious offences are commenced by the issuing of a different type of summons that requires the defendant to attend court even if pleading guilty, or have a lawyer attend on their behalf. The Court will permit a lawyer to enter a guilty plea on their absent client's behalf to many traffic offences, including drink driving matters.

SNS (summons not served)

Summons not served (endorsement on court/police file)


Bonds and bail agreements often stipulate that the defendant is supervised during the term of the agreement. Supervision is by a probation or parole officer from the Department for Correctional Services, and usually involves the person reporting to them at certain times and being subject to their reasonable direction.

suppression order

An order made by a court under section 69A Evidence Act 1929 to suppress the release to the public information about a matter before it (e.g. information that would identify the alleged offender or victim). These orders are sometimes sought by defence or the DPP in homicide or other sensational cases.


A surety is the promise made by the defendant or their guarantor that they will pay a stipulated amount of money to the Court if the defendant does not appear or breaches a term of the bail agreement.

suspended sentence

This is where a sentence of imprisonment is pronounced but the offender is excused from serving it on condition that they be of good behaviour during the term of the bond. If the person fails to be of good behaviour (e.g. by breaching a term of the bond, or by committing an offence during the term of the bond) they may be committed to prison for the term of the sentence. Note that in addition to having to serve the suspended sentence, the person must also serve any penalty for the offence or breached of bond. In special circumstances, the Magistrate may reduce the term of the suspended sentence or direct that it be cumulative on other sentences being or to be served by the probationer.

TTP (time to pay)

Time to pay (endorsement on court/prosecution file)

TIN (traffic infringement notice )

Minor traffic offences (i.e. offences for which the penalty does not include possible imprisonment) can either be dealt with by court proceedings or, if the offender has been issued with a traffic infringement notice (often referred to as a TIN notice), by payment of the fine. The notice sets out details of the alleged offence and stipulates a fine. If a person does not pay their TIN fine they will be automatically found guilty of the offence (unless the person has elected to be prosecuted). The payment of a TIN is treated as an admission of the offence and demerit points are incurred.

training centre

A home or facility established under the Community Welfare Act 1972 for the reception, detention, correction and training of youths.

Training Centre Review Board

The Training Centre Review Board determines whether a youth sentenced to a period of detention in a training centre at Cavan may be granted conditional release. The assessment is done after the youth has completed at least two-thirds of the period of detention, and takes in to account the youth's behaviour during the period of detention and whether there is any undue risk of the youth re-offending if conditionally released.


A trifling or trivial offence is one which is much less serious than the usual offence of its kind. If a traffic offence is trifling, either no demerit points or a reduced number of demerit points may be awarded, or the penalties imposed may be less than the stated minimum.


In the Youth Court, informal undertakings may be made by the youth as to future behaviour at the pre-court diversion stage, or written undertakings made as to penalty in court.

VJ (visiting justice)

Visiting justices sit in prisons to hear allegations of breaches of prison regulations under the Correctional Services Act 1982. Appeals against their determinations are to the District Court.

voir dire hearing

A voir dire hearing is a part of many criminal trials in summary and superior courts. It is held in the absence of the jury for the purpose of deciding whether contested evidence is admissible. Evidence is called at the hearing. Most voir dire hearings are about the admissibility of alleged confessions.

warrant check

A check by police of whether there are any warrants of apprehension or commitment outstanding against a person, by reference to a national warrant data base. This is routinely done when people are arrested, and sometimes before that (e.g. when a person is stopped on the street).

warrant of apprehension

A warrant of apprehension is an authorisation issued by the Court for police to apprehend, detain or extradite a person.

warrant of commitment

Warrants known as warrants of commitment were once issued in South Australia for unpaid fines. The power to issue such warrants no longer exists in South Australia.

See interstate warrant.

WTI (warrant to issue)

Warrant to issue (endorsement on court/police file).

See warrant of apprehension.

See warrant of commitment.

WOC (without conviction)

Without conviction (endorsement on court/police file and criminal record).

Youth Justice Coordinator

Youth Justice Coordinators are either Magistrates who are members of the Youth Court's principal or ancillary judiciary, or people appointed as Youth Justice Coordinators under the Courts Administration Act 1993. The Youth Justice Coordinator convenes family conferences.