Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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EVIDENCE ACT 1995 - SECT 4

Courts and proceedings to which Act applies

             (1)  This Act applies to all proceedings in a federal court, including proceedings that:

                     (a)  relate to bail; or

                     (b)  are interlocutory proceedings or proceedings of a similar kind; or

                     (c)  are heard in chambers; or

                     (d)  subject to subsection (2), relate to sentencing.

Note 2:       Federal court is defined in the Dictionary. The definition includes persons or bodies required to apply the laws of evidence.

Note 3:       Some provisions of this Act extend beyond proceedings in federal courts. These provisions deal with:

*          extension of specified provisions to cover proceedings in all Australian courts (section 5);

*          faith and credit to be given to documents properly authenticated (section 185);

*          swearing of affidavits for use in Australian courts exercising federal jurisdiction or similar jurisdiction (section 186);

*          abolition of the privilege against self-incrimination for bodies corporate (section 187).

Note 4:       See section 79 of the Judiciary Act 1903 for the application of this Act to proceedings in a State court exercising federal jurisdiction.

             (2)  If such a proceeding relates to sentencing:

                     (a)  this Act applies only if the court directs that the law of evidence applies in the proceeding; and

                     (b)  if the court specifies in the direction that the law of evidence applies only in relation to specified matters--the direction has effect accordingly.

             (3)  The court must make a direction if:

                     (a)  a party to the proceeding applies for such a direction in relation to the proof of a fact; and

                     (b)  in the court's opinion, the proceeding involves proof of that fact, and that fact is or will be significant in determining a sentence to be imposed in the proceeding.

             (4)  The court must make a direction if the court considers it appropriate to make such a direction in the interests of justice.

             (5)  Subject to subsection (5A), the provisions of this Act (other than sections 185, 186 and 187) do not apply to:

                     (a)  an appeal from a court of a State, including an appeal from a court of a State exercising federal jurisdiction; or

                     (b)  an appeal from a court of the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory or an external Territory; or

                     (e)  a review of a decision or order of a magistrate and any appeal from such a review;

except so far as the provisions apply to proceedings in all Australian courts.

          (5A)  Despite subsection (5), this Act applies to an appeal to the Family Court of Australia from a court of summary jurisdiction of a State or Territory exercising jurisdiction under the Family Law Act 1975 .



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