These two general resources are each designed to provide accessible information about the operation of the Evidence Act 2008

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    Uniform Evidence Manual

    The Uniform Evidence Manual follows the structure of the Evidence Act 2008 to provide commentary on all substantive provisions, with detailed guidance on how the Act affects the conduct of court proceedings, including the admission of evidence and the exclusionary rules that limit admissibility.
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    Pocket Evidence Law

    Justice Christopher Beale provides summaries of key principles from the Evidence Act 2008. This resource is updated with the latest cases from appellate courts as required.
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    Key Principles of Competency and Compellability

    This document succinctly describes the operation of ss 12, 13, 14 and 16 of the Evidence Act 2008, to help judicial officers decide whether a witness is competent to give evidence, competent to give sworn or affirmed evidence, and is compellable to give evidence.
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    Key Principles of Unfavourable Witnesses

    This document sets out legislative provisions, the statement of rule, definition of ‘unfavourable’, timing and leave considerations relevant to s 38 of the Evidence Act 2008, which allows judicial officers to declare that a witness is unfavourable and may be questioned during examination-in-chief as if being cross-examined.
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    Key Principles of Improper Questions

    This document outlines the prohibition on improper questions in s 41 of the Evidence Act 2008, and the obligation of judicial officers to prevent improper questions.
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    Case Note: Ward (a Pseudonym) v The Queen (2017) 54 VR 68

    This case note summarises key parts of the decision in Ward v The Queen, which contains a thorough discussion of the principles that apply to cross-examining children, and provides guidance for practitioners and judicial officers on the appropriate limits on such cross-examination.
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The following fact sheets provide information on the cognitive development of children and young people to help judicial officers understand their language capabilities and ensure they are questioned in an age-appropriate fashion. They have been developed in collaboration with the Child Witness Service.

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    Key Principles of First-Hand Hearsay

    This document identifies the various provisions of the Evidence Act 2008 (Vic) (ss 59-60, 62-66, 66A, 67) and explains the principles that govern the operation of those provisions, including the importance of identifying how possible hearsay evidence is relevant, and the process of assessing whether a person is available to give evidence.
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    Case Note: Hughes v The Queen (2017) 263 CLR 338

    The leading case on the admissibility of tendency evidence in multiple complainant sexual offence proceedings. This case note summarises the decision and the majority’s guidance on admissibility.
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    LAW

    Case Note: R v Bauer (2018) 266 CLR 56

    A leading case on the admissibility of tendency evidence in a single complainant sexual offence proceeding. This case note summarises the decision and the court’s guidance on admissibility, and the use of previous trial recordings and complaint evidence.
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    Case Note: R v Falzon (2018) 264 CLR 361

    This case concerns the admissibility of the accoutrements of drug trafficking, holding that the relevance of such material does not depend on tendency reasoning, and so the material is not excluded by the tendency rule.
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    Key Principles of Exclusion of Improperly or Illegally Obtained Evidence

    These key principles outline the legislative provisions, statement of rule, information about onus, and considerations relevant to s 138 of the Evidence Act 2008, which provides a sequential process judicial officers should use to determine whether to admit evidence despite it being improperly or illegally obtained.
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We have curated a series of videos on evidence law for VCAT, available to the judiciary.

The Act has been the product of several highly detailed and carefully considered reports by the Australian Law Reform Commission, starting in 1985 and continuing through to 2005. These reports examine the common law rules which the Act was seeking to codify or modify, and provide guidance on the interpretation and structure of the Act, explaining how and why it has changed over time.

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    LAW

    Australian Law Reform Commission, Evidence (Interim) (Report No 26, 1985)

    The Australian Law Reform Commission’s Evidence (Interim) Report identified areas in which the common law of evidence was uncertain and inconsistent, and proposed uniform comprehensive laws of evidence.
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    Australian Law Reform Commission, Evidence (final) (Report No 38, 1987)

    The Australian Law Reform Commission’s Evidence (final) report built on the Commission’s 1985 interim report by discussing feedback received on the proposed draft laws, and contained the Commission’s final recommendations which formed the foundation of the Uniform Evidence Law.
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    LAW

    Australian Law Reform Commission, Review of the Evidence Act 1995 (Discussion paper 69, 2005)

    In 2004, three law reform bodies were given overlapping terms of reference to review the operation of the Uniform Evidence Law. This discussion paper identifies the areas which the Commission intended to focus on, and the areas of perceived difficulty in relation to the Uniform Evidence Law.
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    LAW

    Australian Law Reform Commission, Uniform Evidence Law (Report No 102, 2005)

    In 2004, three law reform bodies were given overlapping terms of reference to review the operation of the Uniform Evidence Law. This final report by those three Commissions recommends a series of amendments to the Uniform Evidence Law, building on 10 years of experience with the operation of the Acts in New South Wales and the Commonwealth.
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