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QLD Queries on Requesting an Adjournment at Magistrates Court?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by electricantz, 9 October 2016.

  1. electricantz

    electricantz Member

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    A friend is listed for trial/hearing in a magistrates court Queensland tomorrow and due to a number of circumstances has not been able to obtain legal representation. He has already appeared in court for the matter for I assume was a mention about 2 months ago and pleaded not guilty, which is why the date was set for a trial. The matter is for possession of a small amount of pot.

    My questions are the following:

    1) Is he able to request an adjournment on the actual day of the trial due to not having obtained legal representation? I'm assuming the court has a duty to allow this, given he has not requested an adjournment to date and he is at a distinct disadvantage without legal advice.

    2) Can the duty lawyer at the court assist when the matter is a trial in helping obtain an adjournment?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated :)
     
  2. JOH

    JOH Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I do understand how much of concern not having legal representation at a hearing could be. However, I would like to let you know that I'm not a lawyer.

    There is actually no legislation stating that a defendant has a right to legal representation which may seem surprising and unfair but that is what the constitution says. Therefore, the court will have no obligation to adjourn proceedings due to just not having legal representations. Receiving an adjournment at a hearing needs special consideration, whichever way your friend chooses to express that to the court.

    However, if an appeal is launched and the judge at the higher court realises that the trial went forth without legal representation there is a high chance that it would have to be re-trialled as there was a distinct disadvantage .

    Hope this helps,
     

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