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.

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76. The opinion rule

76. The opinion rule

Evidence of an opinion is not admissible to prove the existence of a fact about the existence of which the opinion was expressed.


1. The Commonwealth Act and New South Wales Act include an additional subsection.

2. Specific exceptions to the opinion rule are as follows-

· summaries of voluminous or complex documents (section 50(3))
· evidence relevant otherwise than as opinion evidence (section 77)
· lay opinion (section 78)
· Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional laws and customs section 78A)
· expert opinion (section 79)
· admissions (section 81)
· exceptions to the rule excluding evidence of judgments and convictions section 92(3))
· character of and expert opinion about accused persons (sections 110 and 111). Other provisions of this Act, or of other laws, may operate as further exceptions.


1. P sues D, her doctor, for the negligent performance of a surgical operation. Unless an exception to the opinion rule applies, P's neighbour, W, who had the same operation, cannot give evidence of his opinion that D had not performed the operation as well as his own.

2. P considers that electrical work that D, an electrician, has done for her is unsatisfactory. Unless an exception to the opinion rule applies, P cannot give evidence of her opinion that D does not have the necessary skills to do electrical work.


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