Rules of Evidence


Section 81 provides that the hearsay rule and the opinion rule do not apply to evidence of an admission or confession, or a previous representation made by someone at the time of an admission. This means that such evidence is admissible, even if it amounts to a witness alleging that they heard the defendant make the admission....




Evidence of Admissions Must be First Hand

Section 82 provides that evidence of an admission must have been acquired first hand from the person making the admission. It is unacceptable if the deponent can only say that they were told about it by another person who heard it from the defendant....




Exclusion of Admissions Obtained Wrongfully

Under section 84 an admission obtained by violent, oppressive, inhuman or degrading (VOID) conduct, or the threat of such, is inadmissible. It is normally up to the plaintiff or prosecutor to prove that it was given out of the free will of the defendant and not by extracted by a VOID means....




Reliability of Admissions – Criminal Proceedings

Some admissions may be unreliable. In criminal proceedings an admission is ruled to be inadmissible subject to section 85 if certain factors bear upon its reliability. If a criminal defendant can prove that any out of a list of factors in sub-section 3 applies then their admission is inadmissible for unreliability....




Exclusion of Records of Oral Questioning – Criminal Proceedings

An admission may be recorded as sound or video, and such recordings may be transcribed, or a document may be acknowledged as a true representation by means of the defendant’s signature. Such evidence is admissible at court, as is oral testimony that an admission was made (as stated above). However section 86 prevents the use of mere notes, unsigned written statements or other such documents from being tendered as evidence of admissions in criminal proceedings.




[1] Beale, Christopher W, QC, Pocket Evidence Law, Foley’s List, Melbourne, 2014, p 13.

Written by Andrew Pingree. All copyright, 2014-2016 vests in Civilaco Pty Ltd.

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