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Evidence Act 1977 – 23 September 2016

Evidence Regulation 2007 – 25 November 2016

Note: The Commonwealth Evidence Act applies, in most instances, to Commonwealth court proceedings.

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The husband or wife of an accused person can be compelled to provide evidence in a criminal proceeding.

  • Section 8

The competency of a witness to give evidence is presumed but can be questioned.

  • Sections 9, 9A, 9B, 9C, 9D

Special principles apply to court dealings with a child witness (under 16 years of age). One important principle is that a child should not be intimidated in cross-examination.

  • Section 9E

If the accused in a criminal proceeding gives evidence of their own good character or attacks the character of others involved in the proceeding, the court may give permission to the prosecution (in the absence of a jury) to question the accused on their criminal history and/or bad character.

  • Sections 10, 15

Special rules apply when questioning a witness on their criminal history.

  • Sections 15A, 16

It is general practice that a party does not discredit their own witness.

  • Section 17

The court may disallow questions put to a witness that are improper or may damage creditability.

  • Sections 20, 21

An expert witness is to give evidence by audio visual link or audio link (subject to a contrary court direction).

  • Sections 39PA, 39PB

A person who witnesses the signing of a will, deed or legal instrument may verify and prove the same by a statutory declaration.

  • Section 63

Evidence of criminal convictions can be used in civil proceedings.

  • Sections 79, 80, 81

Documentary evidence may be used in civil proceedings where the maker is called as a witness.

  • Sections 92, 93A, 94, 96, 102

In limited circumstances, documentary evidence may be used in criminal proceedings.

  • Sections 93, 93A, 94, 96, 102

A party to civil proceedings may apply to a government department to inspect a document (in the department’s possession) that is relevant to an issue being litigated.

  • Section 134A; Regulation 6
Reason for law


Relevant links

Court services – Apply to issue a subpoena [Queensland Government]

Form 4 [Queensland Police]

Find a Translator or Interpreter – NAATI

Protect All Children Today Inc (PACT)


Highlighted practice direction

2013/05 – Technology standards for using Court DVD players for evidence presentation | 2013/03 – Technology standards for using court DVD players for evidence presentation | 2013/03 – Technology standards for using court DVD players for evidence presentation

2008/01 – Taking evidence by telephone and video link | 2008/01 – Taking evidence by telephone and video link

2005/02 – Expert Evidence: Supreme Court

2010/01 – Interpreters

2005/01 – Evidence Act – Division 4A Evidence of Affected Children

2014/03 – Management of controlled items in court precincts

2010/12A – Witnesses giving Evidence in Committal Proceedings – Annexure A |  2010/12 – Witnesses giving Evidence in Committal Proceedings

2008/06 – Appearance of persons in custody – use of video link facilities | 2006/05 – Appearance of Persons in custody on video link facilities at the magistrates Court at Richlands | 2006/02 – Appearances of Detainees on video link facilities at Magistrates Courts at Maryborough and Hervey Bay | 2005/04 – Appearance of Detainees | 2005/03 – Appearance of Detainees

2004/03A – Guidelines – Evidence of Affected Children

2004/02 – Committal matters requiring evidence from child and intellectually impaired complainants of sexual abuse ‘Fast Tracking’

2000/03 – Taking Evidence by Phone

2012/01 – Use of concurrent evidence in the coronial jurisdiction

Media article

There are question marks over much of the forensic evidence used in our courts

Body-worn cameras are not a panacea for poor policing

Firm warns of dangers of social media


Section 2A: notes forming part of an Act is not common for Acts of Parliament.

Sections 8 and 74 may need to be updated to take into account the introduction of registered relationships.

The section 14 term ‘abrogated’ could be replaced with modern terminology.

Section 52 may be outdated as it contains a reference to the ‘registry of British vessels’.

Section 62 could be made clearer by setting out the relevant presumptions applying to 20 year old documents.

Suggested further reading



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PLEASE NOTE: The information published on this webpage may be out-of-date. Please compare the currency date of the Act/Regulation against that published on the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website. If you require access to Commonwealth statute law, please visit the ComLaw website. If you require access to the local council laws (by-laws), please visit the Local laws database.

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