Regina v Janceski: 18 Aug 2005

(Supreme Court of New South Wales) The NSW statute required that an indictment should be signed by any one of a number of persons specified in the section, including a person authorised by the Director of Public Prosecutions to sign indictments, and empowered the DPP by order in writing to authorise persons to sign indictments for him and on his behalf. The defendant said that his indictment had been signed by a barrister in private practice and not authorised by the DPP. Defence Counsel argued that Sections 1 and 2 of the 1933 Act require a bill of indictment to be signed by the proper officer before it can become an indictment. The task of the court is to ascertain from the terms of the Act what Parliament intended the consequence to be if a bill of indictment is not duly signed. Setting aside extraordinary facts such as those considered in R v Jackson, the answer is clear: if a bill is not signed, it does not become an indictment; if there is no indictment, there can be no valid trial on indictment. Parliament did not intend that a defendant could be tried on indictment without an indictment.
Held: The submission was correct, the indictment was invalid and teh appeals succeeded.


Spigelman CJ Wood CJ at CL Hunt AJA Howie J Johnson J


(2005) 64 NSWLR 10, [2005] NSWCCA 281




Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1933 2(2)




CitedRegina v Morais CACD 1988
A High Court judge had given leave to prefer a voluntary bill against the appellant, who was arraigned on six counts in the voluntary bill. He pleaded not guilty, was convicted on four counts and was sentenced. Relying on section 2 of the 1933 Act, . .

Cited by:

CitedClarke, Regina v; Regina v McDaid HL 6-Feb-2008
An indictment had not been signed despite a clear statutory provision that it should be. The defects were claimed to have been cured by amendment before sentence.
Held: The convictions failed. Sections 1(1) and 2(1) of the 1933 Act which . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice

Updated: 30 November 2022; Ref: scu.267624