Procedure in the High Court

Cases held in the High Court are held before a judge and a jury. At an earlier hearing, the charges are read out and the accused is asked to plead guilty or not guilty:

  • If the plea is guilty the judge may pass sentence there and then.
  • If the plea is not guilty, a trial is organised.

At the trial, the prosecution and the defence make speeches, produce evidence and call witnesses. The judge then sums up the case to the jury and advises them on points of law relevant to the case. The jury discuss the case in private, which can last several days in complex cases, then return to the court to announce their verdict.

If the verdict is guilty, the judge sentences the accused. If the accused is found not guilty or the charge is 'not proven', - when the jury suspect a person's guilt but the prosecution have not proved this beyond doubt – he or she is discharged and in principle cannot be tried for the same offence again.