Table of Contents

Trial By Judge Alone In NSW

trial by judge alone

In the criminal justice system, the choice between a trial by jury or a trial by judge alone holds significant implications for the outcome of a criminal trial. This decision, often pivotal, is based on the nature of the crime, legal precedent, and the preference of the accused. In New South Wales, the option for a trial by judge alone exists alongside the more traditional trial by jury

Jury vs Judge

Jury trials have long been hailed as a cornerstone of democratic justice systems worldwide. They epitomise the notion that one’s peers are best suited to adjudicate guilt or innocence. A jury is typically composed of a cross-section of the community, offering diverse perspectives and experiences.


This diversity aims to prevent bias and prejudice, as well as to ensure that the criminal defendant is judged by a representative sample of their peers.


A judge alone trial is when a single judge decides on whether an accused person is guilty or not guilty of a criminal offence. The reason to choose judge alone trial is strategic, usually to deal with issues of law and must be made in consultation with an experienced criminal defence lawyer.

Community Representation


Juries consist of individuals from various walks of life, ensuring a wide range of perspectives. This diversity is often seen as a safeguard against potential biases.


Checks on Government Power


Jury trials serve as a check on government authority. They prevent the concentration of power in the hands of a select few by involving citizens in the decision-making process.


Public Confidence


The transparent nature of jury trials can bolster public confidence in the legal system. Knowing that one’s fate is determined by fellow citizens can be reassuring for both the accused and society at large.


Legally Untrained


Jurors are typically not legal experts. This can be advantageous as it ensures that decisions are made based on common sense and personal values, rather than strict legal interpretation.


The Challenges of Jury Trials


Complex Cases


Some cases involve intricate legal concepts that may be difficult for a layperson to grasp. This can lead to potential misunderstandings or misinterpretations.


Potential for Bias


Despite efforts to select an impartial jury, biases can still emerge. Preconceived notions or personal experiences may inadvertently influence a juror’s decision.


Length and Cost


Jury trials tend to be more time-consuming and expensive compared to judge-alone trials. Deliberations, accommodations, and the selection process contribute to this.


Vulnerability to Emotion


Jurors, being human, may be swayed by emotional appeals or factors that are not strictly relevant to the case at hand.


The Rise of Trials by Judge Alone


In contrast to jury trials, trials by judge alone are conducted with a single judicial officer, who is responsible for determining both the facts of the case and the applicable law. This system is employed in situations where a jury trial is deemed impractical, unsafe, or for cases of a particularly sensitive nature.

The Advantages of Judge-Alone Trials

Expertise in Law


Judges are legal professionals with extensive training and experience. They are equipped to navigate complex legal terrain and apply the law with precision.




Judge-alone trials are generally quicker and less resource-intensive compared to jury trials. This can help alleviate some of the burden on the legal system.


Avoidance of Bias


Judges are expected to base their decisions strictly on the evidence presented and the law. They are less susceptible to emotional or personal biases.


Protection of Vulnerable Witnesses


In cases involving vulnerable witnesses, such as children or victims of trauma, judge-alone trials can be less intimidating and provide a more conducive environment for testimony.

Parramatta Criminal Lawyers

Send An Online Enquiry

“Thank you Lyons Law Group on providing me an exceptional service delivered with care, compassion and a high level of professionalism. The outcome was more than what I had expected. A true reflection of your legal expertise and experience. Thank you Mohammad and team.”
Layalle Itaoui

Disadvantages of Judge-Alone Trials

Lack of Community Input


Critics argue that judge-alone trials bypass the important democratic principle of having the community involved in the decision-making process of a persons guilt.


Potential for Legal Error


While judges are highly trained, they are not infallible. There is still a risk of legal misinterpretation or oversight.


Perceived Lack of Transparency


Some may perceive judge-alone trials as less transparent, as they occur without the scrutiny of a diverse jury.


Striking a Balance


In NSW, the choice between a trial by judge alone and a trial by jury is a weighty decision that requires careful consideration. Factors such as the complexity of the case, the potential for bias, and the presence of vulnerable witnesses all play a role in this determination.


Ultimately, both systems have their merits and drawbacks. A well-functioning legal system should be able to leverage the strengths of both jury and judge-alone trials, using each where it is most appropriate. This ensures that justice is not only served, but that it is perceived to be served—a vital component in maintaining public trust in the legal system.


If you have been charged with a serious indictable offence in NSW and have a trial in the District Court or the Supreme Court of NSW, contact our Parramatta Criminal Lawyers. We will provide you with free legal advice for up to 15 minutes.

Our Recent Articles

What Our Clients Say About Us

Stephan ConstantinStephan Constantin
10:02 19 Apr 24
A very professional team, great help
Mansoor RamzanMansoor Ramzan
16:17 15 Apr 24
Lyons Law Mohammed khan,hijran, and the team have done the fantastic work.The team is really knowledgeable, professional, and capable of doing the law work.I highly recommend Lyons lawyer and especially Mr. Khan.
Lyons lawyers, principal solicitor khan, Hijran and the staff have been absolutely fantastic, friendly and efficient in handling my DV matters.The team is thoroughly professional, highly knowledgeable and I couldn’t recommend them enough. If you are in need of a law firm that genuinely cares, I highly recommend Lyons lawyers.
Maan TVMaan TV
20:34 31 Jan 24
Best lawyer ,very kind and corporative staff. 100% satisfactory results.
Liv MLiv M
03:52 16 Jan 24
Md SajibMd Sajib
09:47 10 Jan 24
Nuralam MiaNuralam Mia
03:17 10 Jan 24
Md RiponMd Ripon
04:31 07 Jan 24
Nur MohammadNur Mohammad
11:02 05 Jan 24
Mshafiq786 ShafiqMshafiq786 Shafiq
10:26 26 Dec 23
08:29 26 Dec 23
King AhmedKing Ahmed
04:00 26 Dec 23
Hijran has been the best and nicest lawyer there is
Muhammad Aslam sajidMuhammad Aslam sajid
10:41 20 Dec 23
Hani MakkiHani Makki
01:56 20 Dec 23
I engaged Hijran from Lyons Law. She was fantastic. She studied my case closely, even after understanding my record was well below average She decided to assist me. She conducted herself well, was always prompt, professional and helpful. She explained my best and worst outcome. She worked diligently and got me the best outcome NO CONVICTION!!! I would like to extend my gratitude to Hijran. Thank you so much.
Anowar SorkarAnowar Sorkar
01:25 20 Dec 23
Sana MollahSana Mollah
02:04 17 Dec 23
Aiyub Ahamed JabinAiyub Ahamed Jabin
13:54 15 Dec 23
MdAbul HossainMdAbul Hossain
02:23 15 Dec 23
Younus RahamanYounus Rahaman
22:49 12 Dec 23
SHAHIN HossainSHAHIN Hossain
11:49 08 Dec 23
Rubel HossenRubel Hossen
01:29 08 Dec 23
Aman UllahAman Ullah
03:15 06 Dec 23
Dennis BernalDennis Bernal
08:18 05 Dec 23
Lyons Law Group provides such a holistic experience. Such exceptional services and could not recommend, Mohammad, Hijran and the team enough. Sound communication and always going above and beyond. The team represented a family member of mine that achieved the best outcome because of the quality of work and time invested into the matter. From my family, to the dream team at Lyons Law Group, thank you!
Rezaul karim RanaRezaul karim Rana
01:47 03 Dec 23
MD. Ramim HassanMD. Ramim Hassan
09:27 30 Nov 23
hridoy hasan pipluhridoy hasan piplu
04:36 29 Nov 23
PM. ParvejPM. Parvej
04:49 27 Nov 23
03:55 26 Nov 23
Md Ismaile hossenMd Ismaile hossen
10:46 25 Nov 23
MD SohelMD Sohel
10:33 25 Nov 23
Sheikh SajibSheikh Sajib
10:12 23 Nov 23
Your MotherYour Mother
07:13 20 Nov 23
02:22 23 Oct 23
"Absolutely fantastic lawyer! Enis Erdem is a true professional who handles cases with skill, dedication, and genuine concern for their clients. He kept me informed throughout the entire process, making sure I understood every step. Enis Erdem is not only knowledgeable but also empathetic, which made a stressful legal situation much more manageable. I can't thank him enough for their outstanding work!"Highly recommended
Bahaddin DibBahaddin Dib
04:59 10 Oct 23
I had Mr khan who is the principal solicitor represent me today, Mr khan fought for me all the way and got me the best result possible. I would highly recommend him for all your law matters and can confidently say that he strives his best for his clients.
Mash HasanMash Hasan
00:38 21 Sep 23
Thank you so much. Great team of criminal defence lawyers.
Joanna StobinskiJoanna Stobinski
02:18 03 Sep 23
I found Lyons Law to be pro-active and easy to work with when dealing with the recent court case of my son.
Joseph BorgJoseph Borg
22:50 02 Aug 23
Mohammad and the team at the Lyons Law Group are a great to work with, they are polite and go above and beyond to help. We are very happy with the assistance they provided our family. I'd highly recommend the team at Lyons Law Group!
Shofiul AzamShofiul Azam
03:32 19 Jul 23
Mr Khan has extensive knowledge of the law and I am very much delighted about his service.
Julie NJulie N
07:12 11 Jul 23
Mohamad and Hijran are professional and straight to the point team. Highly recommended.
samdani gsamdani g
05:35 22 Jun 23
Very friendly and hard working
Mohammad and his time are the greatest criminal lawyers I have dealt with, they are extremely professional and can assist with any cases, big or small.
DR BernoussiDR Bernoussi
04:16 07 Mar 23
Mr Khan was so polite and helpful in directing me to the best possible outcome for my situation. The amount of support and knowledge they offered me was next to none. I didn’t feel like I was being mislead or looked at like a piggy bank. Mr khan and his team have your best interest into getting the best outcome. Pleasure guys kind regards Dr bernoussi
Natasha SusmanNatasha Susman
09:20 26 Jan 23
Lyons Law Group is honestly outstanding ! Hijran especially, not only is she so professional but she does her best and always is there to answer all questions with such understanding. Hijran honestly goes above and beyond and I'll forever be grateful. I highly recommend Lyons Group.
steve .H.steve .H.
16:59 26 Dec 22
A big thank you to Lyons law group, very professional. Mohammad was exceptionally well and handled my case amazing as well as Hijran!!! They really care about your case, I highly recommend this company!
Norris “Chuck” LuNorris “Chuck” Lu
04:15 30 Nov 22
I cannot express my gratitude to the Lyons law team with a big special mention to Mohammad. Having spent the last few years enduring and coping with the most difficult and stressful situation of me and my family's life.I have been using Mohammad and the team at Lyons Law from day one. They guided us through each difficult process in the most professional manner with full transparency, care and compassion.Through each difficult process up to the very last moment they only delivered results that exceeded every and anything we could have expected. Every outcome was exactly as planned and in turn got amazing results.So once again I cannot recommend Mohammad and the team at Lyons law enough. So like I and my Family did, have confidence that Lyons law will always strive for and deliver the best possible outcome.
Omar MOmar M
01:31 16 Nov 22
A BIG thank you to Lyons Law Group with helping me achieve the best outcome for my case. From day one they were very professional, straight to the point and very easy to communicate with, keeping me updated and informed with everything I needed to know. Honestly, exceptional service and support.Thank you once again to Mohammad & Team.
Edward HindsEdward Hinds
05:59 07 Nov 22
Lyons Law Group is amazing. They are very professional, sympathetic, and helpful. I was kept informed during every step. The level of support was second to none. Mohammad went above and beyond and updated me regularly. Hijram too was amazing. Her calls and court representation made me feel at ease. This was a great experience. I cannot recommend Lyons Law Group enough. My gratitude extends to all involved in the handling of my case.


  • Lyons Law Group | Criminal Defence Lawyers

    Lyons Law Group is a boutique firm of expert criminal solicitors and barristers. Lyons Law Group is dedicated to strong advocacy when representing its clients with an approach that is tailored to every client’s specific needs.