Section 103 allows evidence as to credibility to be considered if it comes out during cross examination of a witness. This exception only stands where the evidence will have a substantial effect upon the witness’ believability. That is, where evidence about a witness or another person is of real concern as to their believability, not evidence of little concern. This leaves the credibility rule as excluding evidence from a witness with the sole or predominant intention or undermining another witness. If a witness has nothing substantive to say other than their unbelief in the other witness then the court will not hear it.


There are sub-sections in s 104 requiring, disallowing, or waiving the need for, the leave of the court to adduce credibility evidence of certain types....




Credibility of Persons who are Not Testifying

Where a representation of some kind is adduced in evidence, but the person who made it is not called as a witness, a party may wish to furnish evidence as to the source’s credibility. Such evidence is inadmissible under section 108A unless it has substantial effect on the source’s credibility. This would be of the order of a conflict of interest, an intellectual difficulty, or suchlike.


Persons with Specialised Knowledge

The credibility of a witness who has profound allegations may come into doubt when their allegations are difficult for a judge or jury lacking expertise in such matters to understand. An expert witness can be called subject to section 108C to give their expert opinion as to the realism of the allegations....






[1] Beale, Christopher W, QC, Pocket Evidence Law, Foley’s List, Melbourne, 2014, p20.

Rules of Evidence

Credibility - Exceptions