Australian Capital Territory Current Acts

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Delay in prosecution

    (1)     This section applies in a criminal proceeding in which there is a jury.

    (2)     If the court, on application by the defendant, is satisfied that the defendant has suffered a significant forensic disadvantage because of the consequences of delay, the court must tell the jury about the nature of that disadvantage and the need to take that disadvantage into account when considering the evidence.

    (3)     The judge need not comply with subsection (2) if there is a good reason for not doing so.

    (4)     It is not necessary that a particular form of words be used in telling the jury about the nature of the significant forensic disadvantage suffered and the need to take the disadvantage into account, but the judge must not in any way suggest to the jury that it would be dangerous or unsafe to convict the defendant solely because of the delay or the forensic disadvantage suffered because of the consequences of the delay.

    (5)     The judge must not warn or tell the jury about any forensic disadvantage the defendant may have suffered because of delay except in accordance with this section, but this section does not affect any other power of the judge to give a warning to, or to inform, the jury.

    (6)     For this section:

        (a)     delay includes delay between the alleged offence and its being reported; and

        (b)     significant forensic disadvantage is not to be regarded as being established by the mere existence of a delay.

Note     The Commonwealth Act

, s 182 gives the Commonwealth Act

, pt 4.6, div 1 a wider application in relation to Commonwealth records and certain Commonwealth documents.

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