Criminal Trial Courts Bench Book Update 58 published

The tendency, coincidence and background evidence commentary and directions at [4-210], [4-225], [4-227], [4-230] and [4-232] have been updated as a result of the High Court decision in The Queen v Bauer (a pseudonym)  [2018] HCA 40.  In the course of its reasons, the High Court summarised, at [86], the directions which should ordinarily be given to a jury in a single complainant sexual offences case where the Crown is permitted to adduce evidence of uncharged acts as evidence the accused had a sexual interest in the complainant and a tendency to act upon it.

The most significant change concerns the practice in NSW of directing a jury that, before they may act on evidence of uncharged acts, they must be satisfied of the proof of the uncharged acts beyond reasonable doubt. The High Court said that practice should no longer be followed: [86].  Decisions such as DJV v The Queen (2008) 200 A Crim R 206 at [30], R v FDP (2008) 74 NSWLR 645 at [38], and DJS v R [2010] NSWCCA 200 at [54]–[55] which suggested the contrary were disapproved.