Major updates to Criminal Charge Book.

Laptop screen displaying a list of bench books on the College's website.
Major updates have been made to the Criminal Charge Book, reflecting recent High Court decisions, integrated directions, and new offence topics.

Case law update: DPP v Roder [2024] HCA 15

Following the High Court decision (DPP v Roder), a significant change has been made to the Tendency Evidence (Sexual Interest Evidence) direction. The Court held that Jury Directions Act 2015 s 61 prohibited a direction on the standard of proof before evidence can be used to establish tendency reasoning. This includes where the tendency is to be established by cross-admissible evidence of other charges. The direction and commentary have therefore been modified to remove any instruction that the jury consider tendency evidence sequentially, or apply a standard of proof when deciding if a tendency has been proved.

New Chapter 11: Factual questions and integrated directions

Chapter 11 marks the College's first step in supporting integrated directions. Developed in accordance with the Jury Directions Act 2015 s 67. This material prioritises factual inquiries and aims to minimise the jury's reliance on legal interpretation. It includes:

  • A comprehensive commentary explaining integrated directions and offering guidance on adapting existing Charge Book material to produce integrated directions.
  • A ‘split charge’ version of the standard final directions, where judges explain integrated directions and provide the jury with a question trail before the parties give their final addresses, and then the judge gives the remainder of final directions after the parties give their addresses
  • Three sample question trails and charges, illustrating the application of integrated directions based on clear identification of factual issues. These samples employ a user-friendly flowchart format, set to replace existing checklists for enhanced clarity.

New offence topics: Firearms, money laundering, and sexual offences

Our latest updates also include new topics covering Firearms offencesMoney laundering offences, and Abduction or detention of an adult or child for the purpose of sexual offences. These additions come complete with comprehensive commentary and model directions to provide clarity on the relevant offences.

View the Criminal Charge Book