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.


97. The tendency rule

97. The tendency rule

(1) Evidence of the character, reputation or conduct of a person, or a tendency that a person has or had, is not admissible to prove that a person has or had a tendency (whether because of the person's character or otherwise) to act in a particular way, or to have a particular state of mind unless-

(a) the party seeking to adduce the evidence gave reasonable notice in writing to each other party of the party's intention to adduce the evidence; and

(b) the court thinks that the evidence will, either by itself or having regard to other evidence adduced or to be adduced by the party seeking to adduce the evidence, have significant probative value.

(2) Subsection (1)(a) does not apply if-

(a) the evidence is adduced in accordance with any directions made by the court under section 100; or

(b) the evidence is adduced to explain or contradict tendency evidence adduced by another party.


The tendency rule is subject to specific exceptions concerning 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.


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