Child witnesses and evidence changes

News Date: 

Our Criminal Charge Book has been updated with new jury directions relating to child witnesses.

The Victims and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2018 commenced today (Monday 29 October) and introduced Jury Directions Act 2015 s44N, which provides mandatory directions a judge must give in a case where a child witness’ reliability or credibility are in issue.

 These directions are designed to inform jurors about:

  • the evidence-giving capabilities of a child
  • how developmental age affects how a child gives evidence
  • the types of questions that are likely to be confusing for a child

The updated Criminal Charge Book also includes a template for giving the new s44N directions.

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