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    #1

    by indictment

    More serious criminal offences are tried by indictment in a higher level of court.

    what does the prepositional phrase in bold mean?
    I understand the word 'indictment', but not the whole phrase?

    Could you give me a helping hand?
    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: by indictment

    Take a look at

    Indictable offence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (note the expression "on an indictment")
    Indictment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Magistrates' Court - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Crown Court - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (note "on indictment")
    Grand jury - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Australian Constitution says, "80. The trial on indictment of any offence against any law of the Commonwealth shall be by jury, and every such trial shall be held in the State where the offence was committed, and if the offence was not committed within any State the trial shall be held at such place or places as the Parliament prescribes."

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: by indictment

    Thanks for all the links.

    But it would take a lot to persuade me that it's not just dead wood. Would the sentence be effectively less meaningful if the phrase were simply omitted? (I expect a lawyer could do it - persuade me, that is.)

    If the phrase were 'on indictment' I could see the point of the phrase (though its position is certainly not helpful). It would make sense to say 'On indictment [in a lower court] more serious criminal case are tried in a higher court.'

    b

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    #4

    Re: by indictment

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Thanks for all the links.

    But it would take a lot to persuade me that it's not just dead wood. Would the sentence be effectively less meaningful if the phrase were simply omitted? (I expect a lawyer could do it - persuade me, that is.)

    If the phrase were 'on indictment' I could see the point of the phrase (though its position is certainly not helpful). It would make sense to say 'On indictment [in a lower court] more serious criminal case are tried in a higher court.'

    b
    I'm not sure what you mean BobK. I think, without "by indictment", the sentence would say less. Doesn't "by indictment" tell us that an indictment is required?
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 12-Dec-2010 at 15:03. Reason: comma

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: by indictment

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean BobK. I think, without "by indictment", the sentence would say less. Doesn't "by indictment" tell us that an indictment is required?
    My understanding of 'indict*ment' is severely restricted by my awareness of its etymology! I'm acutely aware that meanings change and that the meanings that words acquire can lead them a long way from their roots. As far as I understand it - and as I said, I expect the word has a different and precise meaning for lawyers - indictment is saying that someone has done wrong; for a layman, it's more-or-less synonymous with 'accusation' (but with some legal support).

    In this case (lower/higher court), someone is accused of something. S/he is dealt with in a lower court. The lower court indicts him/her (decides that the case is sufficiently serious and sufficiently well argued by the prosecution). On indictment in a lower court, the case is tried in a higher court. S/he is not indicted in the higher court.

    In short, I just feel that the preposition is wrong.

    b

    PS * As I guess you know, BC, but for other readers: the 'c' is silent - but it gives a clue to the derivation from dicere (to say).
    Last edited by BobK; 13-Dec-2010 at 12:38. Reason: PS added

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