If counsel for the defence (or the defendant if he is unrepresented) is calling more than one witness about the facts of the case (as opposed to evidence concerning the defendant’s character) he can make an opening speech.
He next calls his evidence and the prosecution can cross-examine the defence witnesses. The prosecution and the defence then make their final speeches in that order. The judge sums up.
He can at this point direct the jury to return a verdict of not guilty. If he does not do this, the jury retires to consider its verdict. If the defendant is found guilty, the judge is then told of his past convictions.
The defence can make a plea in mitigation. The judge then passes sentence.
If the defendant pleads guilty, the prosecution briefly outlines the facts of the case to the judge and gives details of past convictions. The defence makes a plea in mitigation. After this, the sentence is passed.
Legal page last ppdated on December 14, 2020