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Preliminary Trial Hearing

What is a Preliminary Trial Hearing?

It’s a procedure used in criminal cases. It’s intended to streamline criminal trials and allow legal issues to be dealt with prior to a jury being sworn in to try the case.

Trial processes for sexual offences, white-collar crimes, organised crime and other complex offences are expected to be significantly improved, with fewer delays for complainants.

Preliminary Trial Hearings will also make it less likely that juries are sent away during trial, making the court process faster and more efficient.

(You can find out more about the background to PTHs by reading this Dail Debate from 10 February 2021.)

How is a Preliminary Trial Hearing scheduled?

The Criminal Procedure Act 2021, which introduces Preliminary Trial Hearings (‘PTH’) in this jurisdiction, was commenced on 28 February 2022.

Section 6 of the 2021 Act sets out the circumstances where a PTH can be held. Section 6 has 21 sub-sections and 43 sub-sub-sections. 😣

For legal practitioners, there are new court rules and procedures to be considered, and new court forms to be grappled with.

S.I. 122/2022 – Rules of the Superior Courts (Criminal Procedure Act 2021) 2022 inserts Order 85A in the Rules of the Superior Courts and adds two new forms to Appendix DD.

How does smartlegal help with Preliminary Trial Hearings?

These new forms (particularly Form 7 – Particulars of Application for Preliminary Trial Hearing) got my attention. Form 7 has 23 different categories of Order that can be sought in a PTH – and any category that is not being sought must be deleted or struck through.

I think that’s going to take a long time, and has the potential for lots of errors, so I’ve automated it. Faster, less prone to errors, and free to use. Yes, free.

I’ve also included some explanatory notes in the automation so that you can quickly produce tailored and error-free PTH Applications, in accordance with S.I. 122/2022 and in line with Form 7 in Appendix DD of the RSC, at no charge.

Here’s to continuing the Law Library’s great tradition of collaboration and collegiality. 😀

Getting Started

The PTH Automation is an online form which, once submitted, will instantly generated the required documentation.

That documentation will be e-mailed to you at the e-mail address you provide in the form.

If you’re unable to complete the form in one sitting, you can save your progress and return to the form at a later date. Just use the ‘Save’ button you’ll see at the bottom of the form.

Click on the button below to proceed to the PTH Automation.

Case Studies

Check out these client stories.