For evidence to be admissible, it must bear a sufficient relationship to the actual event(s) that constitute the alleged breach of law. Evidence that is insufficiently related but which is nevertheless inflammatory may, if admitted, have the effect of swaying the jury or judge without having a really solid connection to the core material facts. Disallowing irrelevant evidence therefore helps to ensure a fair trial. It also prevents much time being wasted on hearing facts that will have no effect on the strict logic of the case.


The principle provision on relevance is Section 55. To phrase it clearly, sub-section 1 says that evidence is admissible if it will, directly, or indirectly, help to establish whether a fact in issue is true or false. A fact in issue is anything that must be established by either party to prove their case or debunk the other’s case.


Sub-section 2 specifies that evidence is not to be ruled irrelevant just because it goes to the credibility of a witness, the admissibility of other evidence, or a failure to adduce other evidence...






Indirect Relevance

Evidence that directly goes to the probability of an alleged fact being true is directly relevant. Evidence that is indirectly relevant goes to the reliability or credibility of other evidence or of a witness. This sort of evidence is admissible even though it says nothing about the facts in issue.


Provisional Relevance

Under section 57 where relevance is not readily apparent and depends on some other fact to establish its relevance, the evidence can be admitted provisionally...






[1] R v Buchanan [1966] VR 9.

Rules of Evidence