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4.15.3 - Charge: Prior Consistent Statements

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When to use this Charge

This charge is designed to be used in cases where:

  • Evidence of a prior consistent statement has been admitted under Evidence Act 2008 s108; and
  • That evidence can be used for both a hearsay and non-hearsay purpose.

If the judge has limited the use of the evidence under Evidence Act 2008 s136 the charge should be modified accordingly.

The judge should discuss the proposed charge with counsel before instructing the jury. See Directions Under Jury Directions Act 2015 for information on when the direction is required.



When cross-examining NOW, the [defence / prosecution] [suggested / implied] that s/he had changed his/her evidence. [Summarise evidence and arguments concerning prior inconsistent statements or suggestions of fabrication or reconstruction]. In response, the [prosecution / defence] led evidence that [describe prior consistent statement].

If you accept that NOW made this statement, there are two ways you can use it.

First, you can use the contents of the statement as evidence in the case. For example, you can use NOW’s statement that [describe part of the statement] as evidence that [describe relevant asserted fact].

Secondly, you can use this statement when assessing NOW’s credibility. If you accept that the statement is consistent with NOW’s evidence in court, you may find that this reinforces his/her credibility, because [summarise the way in which the evidence supports NOW’s credibility, e.g., "it shows that s/he has given a consistent account since the alleged offence"].

Section 32 Unreliability Warning

[In some cases it will be necessary to warn the jury about the potential unreliability of the evidence under Jury Directions Act 2015 s32. See Charge: Unreliability of Hearsay Evidence for an example of such a warning.]


 Last updated: 29 June 2015

See Also

4.15 - Previous Representations (Hearsay, Recent Complaint and Prior Statements)

4.15.1 - Charge: Unreliability of Hearsay Evidence

4.15.2 - Charge: Prior Inconsistent Statements

4.15.4 - Charge: Complaint Evidence