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.


Transitional provisions

Unlike the Criminal Procedure Amendment (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Act 2009, which makes significant changes to the operation of both Evidence Act 2008 and Criminal Procedure Act 2009, the Statutue Law Amendment (Evidence Consequential Amendment) Act 2009 is more significant for what it took out than what it brought in.

The Evidence Act 1958 is now the Evidence Act (Miscellaneous Provisions Act) 1958. The procedures for giving evidence, privilege, the antiquated provisions relating to business documents etc. have all gone. In the Crimes Act, familiar provisions like s 398A and s 400 have gone.

Perhaps the most important thing to note about this transitional legislation is the insertion of Schedule 2 into the Evidence Act 2008. The effect of this Schedule is to preserve certain kinds of evidence collected prior to January 1 2010, so that it will be dealt with according to the law and rules applicable at the time of its collection.

Examples include identification evidence, documents, agreed facts, and the discretion to reject improperly or unlawfully collected evidence in accordance with s 139 of the Evidence Act.


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