Last updated:

June 6, 2019

What do I need to know?

  • criminal trial brief number or case number
  • name of the accused
  • year the accused was to be tried.

How do I search?

This is a multi-step search. First you must identify the  criminal trial brief number (or case number) via microfiche indexes within the Reading Room at the Victorian Archives Centre (see a step by step guide to at bottom right of this page: Tips! How to find the case number).

Once you've identified the year and case number, enter them into the search boxes below. If you know the exact year, type the year value into both the "start year" and "end year" boxes.

    About these records

    These records consists of the documentation created by the  State to prosecute individuals committed for trial on serious charges known as indictable or capital offenses. Indictable offences are the criminal offences that are prosecuted in the Supreme Court and the County Court. Capital cases are those where the accused could face hanging. Criminal trial briefs are closed to public inspection for a period of 75 years under the Public Records Act. 

    Next Steps

    Come into the Victorian Archives Centre Reading Room to view the records you've ordered.

    What are in these records?

    Criminal trial briefs:

    • original depositions
    • witness statements (known as depositions) made during the committal hearing and signed by the witness
    • witness recognisances
    • statement of the accused (if made)
    • bail documentation (if granted)
    • evidence tendered, including documents, very small sized items and, increasingly from the 1920s, photographs- Inquest deposition file for the victim (murder or manslaughter)
    • prosecutor’s brief (occasionally) Transcripts (rare until mid 20th century)

    Criminal trial brief registers (online):

    • criminal case number
    • offence
    • date of offence
    • witnesses
    • trial date
    • judge
    • verdict
    • sentence

    TIP! How to find the case number

    1. Go to the microfiche Criminal Trial Brief Registers Index at the Victorian Archives Centre
    2. Choose year of interest (1933-1942) and find the surname and write down the page number. (You can order the 1943 index via the link at the bottom of this page about newly available records.)
    3. Within the microfiche view the scanned pages and locate the page number (top left or right)
    4. Locate the prisoners’ name, case details, and case number.  
    5. “No. of case” is to left of name, note the year as well.
    6.  Return to this page