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5

Ex Officio Indictments

   
5.1 An ex officio indictment is a bill of indictment found for an offence in respect of which there has been no committal for trial.
   
5.2 Prosecutors are encouraged to use ex officio indictments for pleas of guilty where it is intended to fast-track uncontested matters.
   
5.3 Where there have been committal proceedings, a decision whether or not to proceed by way of ex officio indictment should be made by the Director in respect of any offence which is substantially different in nature from the offence or offences committed for trial, or additional to those offences.
   
5.4 When the charge against an offender has been dismissed by a magistrate and consideration is being given to proceeding on that charge by way of ex-officio indictment the offender should be notified. A decision as to whether or not to proceed by way of ex officio indictment should be made within three months of the dismissal.
   
5.5 A proceeding such as a coronial inquest or inquiry may be regarded as a sufficient substitute for committal proceedings. In those circumstances it may be appropriate to deal with the matter by way of ex officio indictment rather than by committal proceedings.
   
5.6 Where appropriate the offender should be given the opportunity of making representations when consideration is being given to an ex officio indictment or count against him or her.
   
5.7 A decision to file an ex officio indictment in the absence of or in spite of committal proceedings will only be justified if the offender will nevertheless be afforded a fair trial.
   
5.8 Only the Director may sign ex officio indictments.
   
5.9 Where practicable Guideline 4: Indictments applies to ex officio indictments.