(1) Defence counsel may request under section 12 that the trial judge direct the jury on either or both of the following—
(a) the giving of evidence by the accused;
(b) the interest that the accused has in the outcome of the trial.
(2) In giving a direction referred to in subsection (1), the trial judge must explain that—
(a) the accused is not required to give evidence; and
(b) the fact that the accused has given evidence does not change the prosecution's obligation to prove that the accused is guilty; and
(c) the jury must assess the evidence of the accused in the same way that the jury assesses the evidence of any other witness; and
(d) the jury must not give less weight to the evidence of the accused just because any person who is on trial has an interest in the outcome of that trial.
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 41 provides for a direction on an accused not giving evidence or calling a particular witness.
S. 44J inserted by No. 37/2017 s. 5.