Evidence - Terms of Reference

To review the Evidence Act 1958 and other laws of evidence which apply in Victoria and to advise the Attorney-General on the action required to facilitate the introduction of the Uniform Evidence Act into Victoria, including any necessary modification of the existing provisions of the Uniform Evidence Act.

2. To consider whether modifications of the existing provisions of the Uniform Evidence Act are required:

  • to take account of case law on the operation of the Uniform Evidence Act in jurisdictions where the Act is currently in force;
  • in relation to the following topics which have been identified as areas of particular concern and are currently being considered by the Australian Law Reform Commission and the New South Wales Law Reform Commission:

–        the examination and re-examination of witnesses, before and during proceedings;

–        the hearsay rule and its exceptions;

–        the opinion rule and its exceptions;

–        the coincidence rule;

–        the credibility rule and its exceptions; and

–        privileges, including client legal privilege.

3. In conducting the review the Victorian Law Reform Commission should have regard to:

  • the experience gained in other jurisdictions in which the Uniform Evidence Act has been in force for some time;
  • the desirability of promoting harmonisation of the laws of evidence throughout Australia, in particular by consulting with the other members of the Uniform Evidence Act scheme;
  • recommendations for changes to the law of evidence which have already been made in the Victorian Law Reform Commission's Reports on Sexual Offences and Defences to Homicide;
  • the right of defendants in criminal trials to receive a fair trial; and
  • arrangements for vulnerable witnesses to provide evidence to promote their access to justice.
  • Consistent with the goal of promoting harmonisation of the laws of evidence, the Commission should collaborate with the New South Wales Law Reform Commission, and the Australian Law Reform Commission, in their respective reviews of the Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) and the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth).
Related Project: 
Publication Process: 
Publication Status: 

Related links

Main menu

Back to top