Simon Moodie is a MPhil candidate at Melbourne Law School. He has an interest in criminal law and particularly in contested committals, which are a somewhat controversial feature of criminal procedure in Victoria.
Simon has worked exclusively in t criminal law since completing his law degree in 2011. As a solicitor with Stary Norton Halphen, his major focus has been on indictable work covering committals, trials, pleas and appeals in homicides, fraud, sex offences and foreign bribery. He has also had experience with disciplinary proceedings in VCAT.
He has a Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Arts and a JD from Melbourne University, a PhD from Queensland University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Before the law, he worked in a number of engineering roles covering research, production and design and in commerce as a business planner and management consultant.
Contested Committals; a better approach?
In Victoria, all serious, or indictable, criminal matters are initiated by means of committal proceedings in the Magistrates Court. A feature of Victorian committals is that they can be ‘contested’, i.e. prosecution witnesses can be cross-examined by counsel for the defence. Such contested committal hearings have been criticised in Victoria because they introduce additional costs and delays and provide few benefits. Others claim that they are essential to the fairness of the criminal justice process and often reduce costs and delays because the evidence adduced and tested at committal often encourages guilty pleas or more focused trials.
The project would be empirically based, using (1) data from the Magistrates, County and Supreme Courts and (2) the results of semi-structured interviews with legal practitioners, judicial officers and police.
- Criminal Law