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JURY DIRECTIONS ACT 2015 - SECT 32

Direction on unreliable evidence

    (1)     The prosecution or defence counsel may request under section 12 that the trial judge direct the jury on evidence of a kind that may be unreliable.

    (2)     In making a request referred to in subsection (1), the prosecution or defence counsel (as the case requires) must specify—

        (a)     the significant matters that may make the evidence unreliable; or

        (b)     if the request concerns evidence given by a child, the significant matters (other than solely the age of the child) that may make the evidence of the child unreliable.

    (3)     In giving a direction referred to in subsection (1), the trial judge must—

        (a)     warn the jury that the evidence may be unreliable; and

        (b)     inform the jury of—

              (i)     the significant matters that the trial judge considers may cause the evidence to be unreliable; or

              (ii)     if the direction concerns evidence given by a child, the significant matters (other than solely the age of the child) that the trial judge considers may make the evidence of the child unreliable; and

        (c)     warn the jury of the need for caution in determining whether to accept the evidence and the weight to be given to it.

Notes

1         Section 14 requires the trial judge to give this direction, if requested, unless there are good reasons for not doing so. Section 16 requires the trial judge to give a direction if the trial judge considers that there are substantial and compelling reasons for doing so.

2     Section 115(7) of the Evidence Act 2008 and Division 4 of this Part provide for warnings and information about identification evidence.

3     Section 164(4) of the Evidence Act 2008 provides that in a criminal proceeding the judge must not—

(a)     warn the jury that it is dangerous to act on uncorroborated evidence or give a warning to the same or similar effect; or

(b)     give a direction relating to the absence of corroboration.

4     Section 164(5) of the Evidence Act 2008 provides that in a criminal proceeding for the offence of perjury or a similar or related offence, the judge must direct the jury that it may find the accused guilty only if it is satisfied that the evidence proving guilt is corroborated.



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