Victorian Current Acts

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Improper questions

S. 41(1) amended by No. 48/2018 s. 57(1).

    (1)     The court must disallow an improper question or improper questioning put to a witness in cross-examination, or inform the witness that it need not be answered.

S. 41(2) repealed by No. 48/2018 s. 57(2).

    *     *     *     *     *

    (3)     In this section, improper question or improper questioning means a question or a sequence of questions put to a witness that—

        (a)     is misleading or confusing; or

        (b)     is unduly annoying, harassing, intimidating, offensive, oppressive, humiliating or repetitive; or

        (c)     is put to the witness in a manner or tone that is belittling, insulting or otherwise inappropriate; or

        (d)     has no basis other than a stereotype (for example, a stereotype based on the witness's sex, race, culture, ethnicity, age or mental, intellectual or physical disability).

S. 41(4) repealed by No. 48/2018 s. 57(2).

    *     *     *     *     *

    (5)     A question is not an improper question merely because—

        (a)     the question challenges the truthfulness of the witness or the consistency or accuracy of any statement made by the witness; or

        (b)     the question requires the witness to discuss a subject that could be considered distasteful to, or private by, the witness.

    (6)     A party may object to a question put to a witness on the ground that it is an improper question.

    (7)     However, the duty imposed on the court by this section applies whether or not an objection is raised to a particular question.

    (8)     A failure by the court to disallow a question under this section, or to inform the witness that it need not be answered, does not affect the admissibility in evidence of any answer given by the witness in response to the question.


1     A person must not, without the express permission of a court, print or publish any question that the court has disallowed under this section—see section 195.

2     Section 41 differs from the Commonwealth Act and New South Wales Act.

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