Victorian Numbered Acts

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JURY DIRECTIONS ACT 2015 (NO. 14 OF 2015) - SECT 64

How explanation may be given in response to jury question

    (1)     If the jury has asked a direct question about the meaning of the phrase, or a question that indirectly raises the     meaning of the phrase, "proof beyond reasonable doubt", the trial judge may—

        (a)     refer to—

              (i)     the presumption of innocence; and

              (ii)     the prosecution's obligation to prove that the accused is guilty; or

        (b)     indicate that it is not enough for the prosecution to persuade the jury that the accused is probably guilty or very likely to be guilty; or

        (c)     indicate that—

              (i)     it is almost impossible to prove anything with absolute certainty when reconstructing past events; and

              (ii)     the prosecution does not have to do so; or

        (d)     indicate that the jury cannot be satisfied that the accused is guilty if the jury has a reasonable doubt about whether the accused is guilty; or

        (e)     indicate that a reasonable doubt is not an imaginary or fanciful doubt or an unrealistic possibility.

    (2)     The trial judge may adapt his or her explanation of the phrase "proof beyond reasonable doubt" in order to respond to the particular question asked by the jury.

Part 8—Trial judge's summing up

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