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.

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165A. Warnings in relation to children's evidence

165A. Warnings in relation to children's evidence

(1) A judge in any proceeding in which evidence is given by a child before a jury must not do any of the following-

(a) warn the jury, or suggest to the jury, that children as a class are unreliable witnesses;

(b) warn the jury, or suggest to the jury, that the evidence of children
as a class is inherently less credible or reliable, or requires more careful scrutiny, than the evidence of adults;

(c) give a warning, or suggestion to the jury, about the unreliability of the particular child's evidence solely on account of the age of the child;

(d) in the case of a criminal proceeding-give a general warning to the jury of the danger of convicting on the uncorroborated evidence of a witness who is a child.

(2) Subsection (1) does not prevent the judge, at the request of a party,

(a) informing the jury that the evidence of the particular child may be unreliable and the reasons why it may be unreliable; and

(b) warning or informing the jury of the need for caution in determining whether to accept the evidence of the particular child and the weight to be given to it-

if the party has satisfied the court that there are circumstances (other than solely the age of the child) particular to the child that affect the reliability of the child's evidence and that warrant the giving of a warning or the information.

(3) This section does not affect any other power of a judge to give a warning to, or to inform, the jury.


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