Australian Evidence Act, 1995

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Contents

CHAPTER 1--Preliminary

PART 1.1----FORMAL MATTERS

  • 1. Short title [see Note 1]
  • 2. Commencement [see Note 1]
  • 3. Definitions

PART 1.2----APPLICATION OF THIS ACT

  • 4. Courts and proceedings to which Act applies
  • 5. Extended application of certain provisions
  • 6. Territories
  • 7. Act binds Crown
  • 8. Operation of other Acts etc.
  • 8A. Application of the Criminal Code
  • 9. Effect of Act on other laws
  • 10. Parliamentary privilege preserved
  • 11. General powers of a court

CHAPTER 2--Adducing evidence

PART 2.1----WITNESSES

Division 1--Competence and compellability of witnesses

  • 12. Competence and compellability
  • 13. Competence: lack of capacity
  • 14. Compellability: reduced capacity
  • 15. Compellability: Sovereign and others
  • 16. Competence and compellability: judges and jurors
  • 17. Competence and compellability: defendants in criminal proceedings
  • 18. Compellability of spouses and others in criminal proceedings generally
  • 19. Compellability of spouses and others in certain criminal proceedings
  • 20. Comment on failure to give evidence

Division 2--Oaths and affirmations

  • 21. Sworn evidence of witnesses to be on oath or affirmation
  • 22. Interpreters to act on oath or affirmation
  • 23. Choice of oath or affirmation
  • 24. Requirements for oaths

Division 3--General rules about giving evidence

  • 26. Court's control over questioning of witnesses
  • 27. Parties may question witnesses
  • 28. Order of examination in chief, cross-examination and re-examination
  • 29. Manner and form of questioning witnesses and their responses
  • 30. Interpreters
  • 31. Deaf and mute witnesses
  • 32. Attempts to revive memory in court
  • 33. Evidence given by police officers
  • 34. Attempts to revive memory out of court
  • 35. Effect of calling for production of documents
  • 36. Person may be examined without subpoena or other process

Division 4--Examination in chief and re-examination

  • 37. Leading questions
  • 38. Unfavourable witnesses
  • 39. Limits on re-examination

Division 5--Cross-examination

  • 40. Witness called in error
  • 41. Improper questions
  • 42. Leading questions
  • 43. Prior inconsistent statements of witnesses
  • 44. Previous representations of other persons
  • 45. Production of documents
  • 46. Leave to recall witnesses

PART 2.2----DOCUMENTS

  • 47. Definitions
  • 48. Proof of contents of documents
  • 49. Documents in foreign countries
  • 50. Proof of voluminous or complex documents
  • 51. Original document rule abolished

PART 2.3----OTHER EVIDENCE

  • 52. Adducing of other evidence not affected
  • 53. Views
  • 54. Views to be evidence

CHAPTER 3--Admissibility of evidence

PART 3.1----RELEVANCE

  • 55. Relevant evidence
  • 56. Relevant evidence to be admissible
  • 57. Provisional relevance
  • 58. Inferences as to relevance

PART 3.2----HEARSAY

Division 1--The hearsay rule

  • 59. The hearsay rule--exclusion of hearsay evidence
  • 60. Exception: evidence relevant for a non-hearsay purpose
  • 61. Exceptions to the hearsay rule dependent on competency

Division 2--First-hand hearsay

  • Section 62: Restriction to "first-hand" hearsay
  • Section 63: Exception: civil proceedings if maker not available
  • Section 64: Exception: civil proceedings if maker available
  • Section 65: Exception: criminal proceedings if maker not available
  • Section 66: Exception: criminal proceedings if maker available
  • Section 66A: Exception: contemporaneous statements about a person's health etc.
  • 67. Notice to be given
  • 68. Objections to tender of hearsay evidence in civil proceedings if maker available

Division 3--Other exceptions to the hearsay rule

  • 69. Exception: business records
  • 70. Exception: contents of tags, labels and writing
  • 71. Exception: electronic communications
  • 72. Exception: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional laws and customs
  • 73. Exception: reputation as to relationships and age
  • 74. Exception: reputation of public or general rights
  • 75. Exception: interlocutory proceedings

PART 3.3----OPINION

  • 76. The opinion rule
  • 77. Exception: evidence relevant otherwise than as opinion evidence
  • 78. Exception: lay opinions
  • 78A. Exception: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional laws and customs
  • 79. Exception: opinions based on specialised knowledge
  • 80. Ultimate issue and common knowledge rules abolished

PART 3.4----ADMISSIONS

  • 81. Hearsay and opinion rules: exception for admissions and related representations
  • 82. Exclusion of evidence of admissions that is not first-hand
  • 83. Exclusion of evidence of admissions as against third parties
  • 84. Exclusion of admissions influenced by violence and certain other conduct
  • 85. Criminal proceedings: reliability of admissions by defendants
  • 86. Exclusion of records of oral questioning
  • 87. Admissions made with authority
  • 88. Proof of admissions
  • 89. Evidence of silence
  • 90. Discretion to exclude admissions

PART 3.5: EVIDENCE OF JUDGMENTS AND CONVICTIONS

  • Section 91: Exclusion of evidence of judgments and convictions
  • Section 921: Exceptions
  • Section 93: Savings

PART 3.6----TENDENCY AND COINCIDENCE

  • 94. Application
  • 95. Use of evidence for other purposes
  • 96. Failure to act
  • 97. The tendency rule
  • 98. The coincidence rule
  • 99. Requirements for notices
  • 100. Court may dispense with notice requirements
  • 101. Further restrictions on tendency evidence and coincidence evidence adduced by prosecution

PART 3.7----CREDIBILITY

Division 1--Credibility evidence

  • 101A. Credibility evidence

Division 2--Credibility of witnesses

  • 102. The credibility rule
  • 103. Exception: cross-examination as to credibility
  • 104. Further protections: cross-examination of accused
  • 106. Exception: rebutting denials by other evidence
  • 108. Exception: re-establishing credibility

Division 3--Credibility of persons who are not witnesses

  • 108A. Admissibility of evidence of credibility of person who has made a previous representation
  • 108B. Further protections: previous representations of an accused who is not a witness

Division 4--Persons with specialised knowledge

  • 108C. Exception: evidence of persons with specialised knowledge

PART 3.8----CHARACTER

  • 109. Application
  • 110. Evidence about character of accused persons
  • 111. Evidence about character of co-accused
  • 112. Leave required to cross-examine about character of accused or co-accused

PART 3.9----IDENTIFICATION EVIDENCE

  • 113. Application of Part
  • 114. Exclusion of visual identification evidence
  • 115. Exclusion of evidence of identification by pictures
  • 116. Directions to jury

PART 3.10----PRIVILEGES

Division 1--Client legal privilege

  • 117. Definitions
  • 118. Legal advice
  • 119. Litigation
  • 120. Unrepresented parties
  • 121. Loss of client legal privilege: generally
  • 122. Loss of client legal privilege: consent and related matters
  • 123. Loss of client legal privilege: defendants
  • 124. Loss of client legal privilege: joint clients
  • 125. Loss of client legal privilege: misconduct
  • 126. Loss of client legal privilege: related communications and documents

Division 1A--Journalists' privilege

  • 126G. Definitions
  • 126H. Protection of journalists' sources

Division 2--Other privileges

  • 127. Religious confessions
  • 128. Privilege in respect of self-incrimination in other proceedings
  • 128A. Privilege in respect of self-incrimination--exception for certain orders etc

Division 3--Evidence excluded in the public interest

  • 129. Exclusion of evidence of reasons for judicial etc. decisions
  • 130. Exclusion of evidence of matters of state
  • 131. Exclusion of evidence of settlement negotiations

Division 4--General

  • 131A. Extended application of Division 1A
  • 131B. Extended application of Division 1A etc. to all proceedings for Commonwealth offences
  • 132. Court to inform of rights to make applications and objections
  • 133. Court may inspect etc. documents
  • 134. Inadmissibility of evidence that must not be adduced or given

PART 3.11----DISCRETIONARY AND MANDATORY EXCLUSIONS

  • 135. General discretion to exclude evidence
  • 136. General discretion to limit use of evidence
  • 137. Exclusion of prejudicial evidence in criminal proceedings
  • 138. Discretion to exclude improperly or illegally obtained evidence
  • 139. Cautioning of persons

CHAPTER 4--Proof

PART 4.1----STANDARD OF PROOF

  • 140. Civil proceedings: standard of proof
  • 141. Criminal proceedings: standard of proof
  • 142. Admissibility of evidence: standard of proof

PART 4.2----JUDICIAL NOTICE

  • 143. Matters of law
  • 144. Matters of common knowledge
  • 145. Certain Crown certificates

PART 4.3----FACILITATION OF PROOF

Division 1--General

  • 146. Evidence produced by processes, machines and other devices
  • 147. Documents produced by processes, machines and other devices in the course of business
  • 148. Evidence of certain acts of justices, lawyers and notaries public
  • 149. Attestation of documents
  • 150. Seals and signatures
  • 151. Seals of bodies established under State law
  • 152. Documents produced from proper custody

Division 2--Matters of official record

  • 153. Gazettes and other official documents
  • 154. Documents published by authority of Parliaments etc.
  • 155. Evidence of official records
  • 155A. Evidence of Commonwealth documents
  • 156. Public documents
  • 157. Public documents relating to court processes
  • 158. Evidence of certain public documents
  • 159. Official statistics

Division 3--Matters relating to post and communications

  • 160. Postal articles
  • 161. Electronic communications
  • 162. Lettergrams and telegrams
  • 163. Proof of letters having been sent by Commonwealth agencies

PART 4.4----CORROBORATION

  • 164. Corroboration requirements abolished

PART 4.5----WARNINGS AND INFORMATION

  • 165. Unreliable evidence
  • 165A. Warnings in relation to children's evidence
  • 165B. Delay in prosecution

PART 4.6----ANCILLARY PROVISIONS

Division 1--Requests to produce documents or call witnesses

  • 166. Definition of request
  • 167. Requests may be made about certain matters
  • 168. Time limits for making certain requests
  • 169. Failure or refusal to comply with requests

Division 2--Proof of certain matters by affidavits or written statements

  • 170. Evidence relating to certain matters
  • 171. Persons who may give such evidence
  • 172. Evidence based on knowledge, belief or information
  • 173. Notification of other parties

Division 3--Foreign law

  • 174. Evidence of foreign law
  • 175. Evidence of law reports of foreign countries
  • 176. Questions of foreign law to be decided by judge

Division 4--Procedures for proving other matters

  • 177. Certificates of expert evidence
  • 178. Convictions, acquittals and other judicial proceedings
  • 179. Proof of identity of convicted persons--affidavits by members of State or Territory police forces
  • 180. Proof of identity of convicted persons--affidavits by AFP employees or special members of the Australian Federal Police
  • 181. Proof of service of statutory notifications, notices, orders and directions

CHAPTER 5--Miscellaneous

  • 182. Application of certain sections in relation to Commonwealth records, postal articles sent by Commonwealth agencies and certain Commonwealth documents
  • 183. Inferences
  • 184. Accused may admit matters and give consents
  • 185. Faith and credit to be given to documents properly authenticated
  • 186. Swearing of affidavits before justices of the peace, notaries public and lawyers
  • 187. Abolition of the privilege against self-incrimination for bodies corporate
  • 188. Impounding documents
  • 189. The voir dire
  • 190. Waiver of rules of evidence
  • 191. Agreements as to facts
  • 192. Leave, permission or direction may be given on terms
  • 192A. Advance rulings and findings
  • 193. Additional powers
  • 194. Witnesses failing to attend proceedings
  • 195. Prohibited question not to be published
  • 196. Proceedings for offences
  • 197. Regulations

SCHEDULE Oaths and Affirmations

DICTIONARY

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