Victorian Numbered Acts

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JURY DIRECTIONS ACT 2015 (NO. 14 OF 2015) - SECT 42

Prohibited statements and suggestions in relation to accused who does not give evidence or call witness

The trial judge, the prosecution and defence counsel (or, if the accused is unrepresented, the accused) must not say, or suggest in any way, to the jury that, because an accused did not give evidence or call a particular witness (as the case requires), the jury may—

        (a)     conclude that the accused is guilty from that fact; or

        (b)     use the failure of the accused to provide an explanation of facts, which must be within the knowledge of the accused, to more safely draw an adverse inference based on those facts which, if drawn, would prove the guilt of the accused; or

        (c)     draw an inference that the accused did not give evidence or call a witness (as the case requires) because that would not have assisted his or her case.


Section 7 provides for correction of statements or suggestions to the contrary of this provision.

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