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3.13.2 - Charge: Majority Verdict Allowed – No Perseverance Direction

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This charge can be used when a judge has exercised their discretion to allow a majority verdict, and no perseverance direction has been given. Judges must not give a perseverance direction at the same time as, or immediately before or immediately after, giving a majority direction (Jury Directions Act 2015 ss64B-64C, as amended in 2017). If a perseverance direction has already been given in a trial see Unanimous Verdict Required.

I have been told that you have not yet been able to reach a verdict. Although I have the power to dismiss you without a verdict having been reached, I should only do this if I am satisfied that you will not be able to agree on a verdict even if you are given more time for discussion. I am not yet satisfied that this is the case.

However, I am satisfied that you should now be allowed to give a majority verdict.[1] This means that if you cannot all agree on a verdict, I will accept a verdict that is agreed upon by eleven [10 or 9] of you.

Please return to the jury room and consult with one another. Express your own views. Listen carefully to the views of others jurors. Discuss your differences with an open mind. Calmly weigh up each other’s opinions about the evidence, and test them by discussion.

If eleven of the twelve [10/11 or 9/10] of you – reach agreement on a verdict, then you can decide to return a majority verdict.

Notes

[1] A majority verdict is not permitted in relation to charges of murder, treason, offences against sections 71 or 72 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic), or offences against a law of the Commonwealth (Juries Act 2000 s46).

Last updated: 2 October 2017

See Also

3.13 - Perseverance and Majority Verdict Directions

3.13.1 - Charge: Unanimous Verdict Required