Welcome to the Evidence Act 2008

This blog was started back when the Evidence Act 2008 was nothing more than a gleam in Parliament's eye. It was an attempt to further understanding of some challenging new legislation when information about it was difficult to find.

Since then, many authors and luminaries have turned their minds to the complex issues the Act obliges Victorian lawyers to engage with. A blog devoted exclusively to this one piece of legislation isn't necessary, and is impossible for us to give the attention it deserves.

If you're looking for a more conventional blog posting on topical legal issues, have a look at Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? by the same authors.

This site is no substitute for legal advice from an Australian lawyer. If you have a legal problem, it's great that you are doing a bit of research, but go consult a professional.


141. Criminal proceedings - standard of proof

141. Criminal proceedings - standard of proof

(1) In a criminal proceeding, the court is not to find the case of the prosecution proved unless it is satisfied that it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt.

(2) In a criminal proceeding, the court is to find the case of a defendant proved if it is satisfied that the case has been proved on the balance of probabilities.

In Green v The Queen (1971) 126 CLR 28 the High Court discussed some of these earlier failed attempts to define the term beyond reasonable doubt and concluded [at 15]: “Jurymen themselves set the standard of what is reasonable in the circumstances.”

The Victorian Court of Appeal ruled in R v Cavkic, Athanasi & Clarke [2005] VSCA 182 the jury in that case should have been told that they must not approach their task by reference to the calculation of percentages, and that it would be completely wrong for them to do so.


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