Victorian Numbered Acts

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JURY DIRECTIONS ACT 2015 (NO. 14 OF 2015) - SECT 43

Direction on prosecution not calling or questioning witness

    (1)     If the prosecution does not call or question a particular witness, defence counsel may request under section 12 that the trial judge direct the jury on that fact.

    (2)     The trial judge may direct the jury as referred to in subsection (1) only if the trial judge is satisfied that the prosecution—

        (a)     was reasonably expected to call or question the witness; and

        (b)     has not satisfactorily explained why it did not call or question the witness.

    (3)     In giving a direction referred to in subsection (1), the trial judge may inform the jury that it may conclude that the witness would not have assisted the prosecution's case.


Section 14 requires the trial judge to give this direction, if requested, unless there are good reasons for not doing so. Section 43(2) qualifies the threshold for giving a requested direction. 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.

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