Criminal Trial Courts Bench Book Update 71 published

Update 71, December 2022

Update 71 amends the Criminal Trial Courts Bench Book to incorporate recent case law and legislative developments. The following chapters have been revised:

Outline of trial procedure:

  • [1-005Pre-trial procedures to add reference to Alameddine v R [2022] NSWCCA 219, where the principles to be applied under ss 131–132A of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 are discussed.

The jury:

  • [1-495Offences and irregularities involving jurors to add reference to Vella v R [2022] NSWCCA 204 regarding the admission of evidence concerning jury deliberations in appeals against conviction.
  • [1-510Discretion to discharge whole jury or continue with remaining jurors to add reference to Watson v R [2022] NSWCCA 208 regarding the “high degree of necessity” required to prevent a miscarriage of justice before a jury will be discharged.

Privilege against self-incrimination:

  • [1-720] Notes to add reference to Spence v The Queen [2016] VSCA 113 regarding disclosing to the jury the granting of a s 128(3) Evidence Act 1995 certificate to a witness.

Accusatory statements in the presence of the accused:

  • [2-000Introduction to add reference to DPP (NSW) v Sullivan [2022] NSWCCA 18 regarding the discretion to exclude evidence of admissions under s 90 Evidence Act.

Admissions to police:

  • [2-120Position under the Evidence Act to add reference to Decision Restricted v R [2022] NSWCCA 95 and Nguyen v The Queen (2020) 269 CLR 299 regarding the caution to be exercised when out-of-court statements admitted into evidence may be mixed and complex.

Circumstantial evidence:

  • [2-500Introduction to add reference to Gwilliam v R [2019] NSWCCA 5, Wiggins v R [2020] NSWCCA 256 and Davidson v R (2009) 75 NSWLR 150 regarding the applicable principles for assessing what is a reasonable inference in circumstantial evidence cases.
  • [2-510“Shepherd direction” — “link in the chain case” to add reference to Davidson v R (2009) 75 NSWLR 150 and D’Agostino v R [2019] NSWCCA 259 regarding the test for what constitutes an indispensable “intermediate fact” in a circumstantial evidence case.

Tendency, coincidence and background evidence:

  • [4-225Tendency evidence to add reference to TL v The King [2022] HCA 35 regarding applicable principles governing similarity between tendency evidence and charged offences.
  • [4-226Standard of proof — s 161A Criminal Procedure Act 1986 to add reference to JS v R (2009) 75 NSWLR 150 regarding the application of s 161A Criminal Procedure Act to charged acts and observations concerning jury directions on standard of proof.
  • [4-230Tendency evidence in child sexual assault proceedings — s 97A to add reference to JW v R [2022] NSWCCA 206 regarding the application of transitional provisions for s 97A  Evidence Act and the commencement of “hearings”, including special hearings.

Procedures for fitness to be tried (including special hearings):

  • [4-320Part 4 procedure to update the Procedure Table and add reference to R v Woodham [2022] NSWSC 1154, regarding the meaning of “will not” in s 47(1)(b) of the Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Forensic Provisions Act 2020, and to add reference to AG (NSW) v Bragg (Preliminary) [2021] NSWSC 439 and AG (NSW) v Wright (by his tutor Johnson) (Preliminary) [2022] NSWSC 537 regarding the statutory requirements to be applied when determining whether to grant an extension order over a forensic patient.
  • [4-330Extension orders to add reference to AG (NSW) v Bragg (Preliminary) [2021] NSWSC 439 and AG (NSW) v Wright (by his tutor Johnson) (Preliminary) [2022] NSWSC 537 regarding the interpretation of ss 121–122 of the Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Forensic Provisions Act.