(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 .