Victorian Current Acts

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JURY DIRECTIONS ACT 2015 - SECT 62

Abolition of common law obligation to give certain directions

Any rule of common law under which a trial judge in a criminal trial is required to direct the jury that a matter, other than a matter referred to in section 61, must be proved beyond reasonable doubt is abolished.

Notes

1     This provision abolishes—

              •     the rule attributed to Shepherd v R [1990] HCA 56; (1990) 170 CLR 573 that in appropriate cases a jury must be directed that it must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of an indispensable intermediate fact; and

              •     the rule attributed to R v Sadler [2008] VSCA 198 that a jury must be directed that it must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of uncharged acts that the jury would use as a step in their process of reasoning towards guilt; and

              •     any other rule that requires a jury to be directed that it must be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of any matter other than a matter referred to in section 61.

2     Section 4 applies generally to override any rule of law or practice to the contrary of this Act.



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