An indictment is a formal allegation to the Supreme Court that a named person has committed a stated crime or crimes. No one can be tried in the Supreme Court except upon an indictment. Formerly a bill of indictment was preferred before the grand jury which, if it found a true bill, presented the indictment. Since the abolition of the grand jury in 1961, indictments are presented directly to the Court by a legal officer of the Crown or by a private prosecutor. A Judge may direct that no indictment be presented or that the accused be not brought to trial.
by Bruce James Cameron, B.A., LL.M., Legal Adviser, Department of Justice, Wellington.
Criminal Law; Juries.