Victorian Current Acts

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JURY DIRECTIONS ACT 2015 - SECT 52

Direction on delay in complaint or lack of complaint

    (1)     If, before any evidence is adduced in the trial and after hearing submissions from the prosecution and defence counsel (or, if the accused is unrepresented, the accused), the trial judge considers that there is likely to be evidence in the trial that suggests that the complainant delayed in making a complaint or did not make a complaint, the trial judge—

        (a)     must direct the jury in accordance with subsection (4) before any evidence about delay in making a complaint or lack of complaint is adduced; and

        (b)     may give the direction before any evidence is adduced in the trial.

    (2)     If, at any other time during the trial, the trial judge considers that there is evidence in the trial that suggests that the complainant delayed in making a complaint or did not make a complaint, the trial judge must direct the jury in accordance with subsection (4) as soon as is practicable.

    (3)     The trial judge may repeat a direction under this section at any time in the trial.

    (4)     In giving a direction under this section, the trial judge must inform the jury that experience shows that—

        (a)     people may react differently to sexual offences and there is no typical, proper or normal response to a sexual offence; and

        (b)     some people may complain immediately to the first person they see, while others may not complain for some time and others may never make a complaint; and

        (c)     delay in making a complaint in respect of a sexual offence is a common occurrence.

    (5)     This section does not limit any direction that the trial judge may give the jury in relation to evidence given by an expert witness.



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