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EVIDENCE ACT 1995 - NOTES

- As at 2 July 2018 - Act 25 of 1995

Note to Chapter 1

Outline of this Act This Act sets out the State rules of evidence. Generally speaking, the Act applies to proceedings in State courts and before other persons or bodies required to apply the laws of evidence (see section 4).
Chapter 2 is about how evidence is adduced in proceedings.
Chapter 3 is about admissibility of evidence in proceedings.
Chapter 4 is about proof of matters in proceedings.
Chapter 5 deals with miscellaneous matters.
The Dictionary at the end of this Act defines terms and expressions used in this Act.
Related legislation This Act is in most respects uniform with the Evidence Act 1995 of the Commonwealth. The 2 Acts are drafted in identical terms except so far as differences are identified by appropriate annotations to the texts, and except so far as minor drafting variations are required because one Act is a New South Wales Act and one Act is a Commonwealth Act.
If one Act contains a provision that is not included in the other Act, the numbering of the other Act has a gap in the numbering in order to maintain consistent numbering for the other provisions.
In relation to the taking of evidence outside New South Wales for the purposes of proceedings in the State and in relation to the taking of evidence in the State for the purposes of proceedings outside New South Wales see the Evidence on Commission Act 1995.

Note to Chapter 2

Outline of this Chapter This Chapter is about ways in which evidence is adduced.
Part 2.1 is about adducing evidence from witnesses.
Part 2.2 is about adducing documentary evidence.
Part 2.3 is about adducing other forms of evidence.

Note to Chapter 3

Outline of this Chapter This Chapter is about whether evidence adduced in a proceeding is admissible.
Part 3.1 sets out the general inclusionary rule that relevant evidence is admissible.
Part 3.2 is about the exclusion of hearsay evidence, and exceptions to the hearsay rule.
Part 3.3 is about exclusion of opinion evidence, and exceptions to the opinion rule.
Part 3.4 is about admissions and the extent to which they are admissible as exceptions to the hearsay rule and the opinion rule.
Part 3.5 is about exclusion of certain evidence of judgments and convictions.
Part 3.6 is about exclusion of evidence of tendency or coincidence, and exceptions to the tendency rule and the coincidence rule.
Part 3.7 is about exclusion of evidence relevant only to credibility, and exceptions to the credibility rule.
Part 3.8 is about character evidence and the extent to which it is admissible as exceptions to the hearsay rule, the opinion rule, the tendency rule and the credibility rule.
Part 3.9 is about the requirements that must be satisfied before identification evidence is admissible.
Part 3.10 is about the various categories of privilege that may prevent evidence being adduced.
Part 3.11 provides for the discretionary and mandatory exclusion of evidence even if it would otherwise be admissible.
The following diagram shows how this Chapter applies to particular evidence:   graphic  

Note to Part 3.4


"Admission" is defined in the Dictionary.

Note to Part 3.9


"Identification evidence" is defined in the Dictionary.

Note to Division 1B

The Commonwealth Act does not include this Division.

Note to Chapter 4

Outline of this Chapter This Chapter is about the proof of matters in a proceeding.
Part 4.1 is about the standard of proof in civil proceedings and in criminal proceedings.
Part 4.2 is about matters that do not require proof in a proceeding.
Part 4.3 makes easier the proof of the matters dealt with in that Part.
Part 4.4 is about requirements that evidence be corroborated.
Part 4.5 requires judges to warn juries about the potential unreliability of certain kinds of evidence.
Part 4.6 sets out procedures for proving certain other matters.

Note to Division 1

Section 182 of the Commonwealth Act gives Division 1 of Part 4.6 of the Commonwealth Act a wider application in relation to Commonwealth records and certain Commonwealth documents.

Note to Division 2

Section 182 of the Commonwealth Act gives Division 2 of Part 4.6 of the Commonwealth Act a wider application in relation to Commonwealth records and certain Commonwealth documents.

Reprint history:

Reprint No 1   1 April 1998  
Reprint No 2   7 August 2001  
Reprint No 3   26 August 2003  
Reprint No 4   13 January 2009  

Historical notes

The following abbreviations are used in the Historical notes:

Am amended LW legislation website Sch Schedule
Cl clause No number Schs Schedules
Cll clauses p page Sec section
Div Division pp pages Secs sections
Divs Divisions Reg Regulation Subdiv Subdivision
GG Government Gazette Regs Regulations Subdivs Subdivisions
Ins inserted Rep repealed Subst substituted

Table of amending instruments

Evidence Act 1995 No 25. Assented to 19.6.1995. Date of commencement of Part 1.1 and Dictionary, assent, sec 2 (1); date of commencement of the remainder, 1.9.1995, sec 2 (2) and GG No 102 of 25.8.1995, p 4354. This Act has been amended as follows:

1995 No 99 Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (No 2) 1995. Assented to 21.12.1995.
Date of commencement of Sch 2.6, assent, sec 2 (2).
1997 No 55 Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1997. Assented to 2.7.1997.
Date of commencement of Sch 1.7, 1.8.1997, Sch 1.7 and GG No 86 of 1.8.1997, p 5834.
No 122 Evidence Amendment (Confidential Communications) Act 1997. Assented to 10.12.1997.
Date of commencement, 1.1.1998, sec 2 and GG No 149 of 19.12.1997, p 10091.
No 147 Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (No 2) 1997. Assented to 17.12.1997.
Sch 1.7 was not commenced and was repealed by Sch 3.23 to the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2000 No 53 with effect from 29.6.2000.
1998 No 54 Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1998. Assented to 30.6.1998.
Date of commencement of Sch 2.15, assent, sec 2 (2).
No 107 Criminal Procedure Legislation Amendment (Bail Agreements) Act 1998. Assented to 9.11.1998.
Date of commencement of Sch 3.4, 1.10.2000, sec 2 and GG No 127 of 29.9.2000, p 10810.
No 158 Children and Young Persons Legislation (Repeal and Amendment) Act 1998. Assented to 14.12.1998.
Date of commencement of Sch 2.14, 9.12.2011, sec 2 and 2011 (625) LW 9.12.2011.
1999 No 48 Criminal Procedure Amendment (Sexual Assault Communications Privilege) Act 1999. Assented to 1.11.1999.
Date of commencement, 5.11.1999, sec 2 and GG No 126 of 5.11.1999, p 10403.
No 94 Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sentencing) Act 1999. Assented to 8.12.1999.
Date of commencement of Sch 4.21 [1], 25.2.2000, sec 2 (1) and GG No 29 of 25.2.2000, p 1321; Sch 4.21 [2] and [3] were without effect as the sections being amended were substituted or repealed by the Criminal Procedure Amendment (Sexual Assault Communications Privilege) Act 1999 No 48 with effect from 5.11.1999; date of commencement of Sch 4.70, 1.1.2000, sec 2 (1) and GG No 144 of 24.12.1999, p 12184.
2000 No 53 Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2000. Assented to 29.6.2000.
Date of commencement of Sch 1.5, assent, sec 2 (2).
2001 No 34 Corporations (Consequential Amendments) Act 2001. Assented to 28.6.2001.
Date of commencement of Sch 4.17, 15.7.2001, sec 2 (1) and Commonwealth Gazette No S 285 of 13.7.2001.
No 109 Evidence Legislation Amendment Act 2001. Assented to 14.12.2001.
Date of commencement, 26.7.2002, sec 2 and GG No 122 of 26.7.2002, p 5541.
No 121 Justices Legislation Repeal and Amendment Act 2001. Assented to 19.12.2001.
Date of commencement of Sch 2, 7.7.2003, sec 2 and GG No 104 of 27.6.2003, p 5978.
2002 No 73 Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Relationships) Act 2002. Assented to 1.10.2002.
Date of commencement, 1.11.2002, sec 2 and GG No 201 of 1.11.2002, p 9302.
2005 No 25 Criminal Procedure Further Amendment (Evidence) Act 2005. Assented to 31.5.2005.
Date of commencement of Sch 2.3, 12.8.2005, sec 2 and GG No 102 of 12.8.2005, p 4309.
2007 No 46 Evidence Amendment Act 2007. Assented to 1.11.2007.
Date of commencement, 1.1.2009, sec 2 and GG No 158 of 19.12.2008, p 12305. Amended by Courts and Crimes Legislation Further Amendment Act 2008 No 107. Assented to 8.12.2008. Date of commencement of Sch 12, assent, sec 2 (1).
No 94 Miscellaneous Acts (Local Court) Amendment Act 2007. Assented to 13.12.2007.
Date of commencement of Sch 2, 6.7.2009, sec 2 and 2009 (314) LW 3.7.2009.
2008 No 107 Courts and Crimes Legislation Further Amendment Act 2008. Assented to 8.12.2008.
The amendment made by Sch 11 was without effect as the provision being amended was amended by the Evidence Amendment Act 2007 No 46.
2010 No 69 Evidence Amendment Act 2010. Assented to 28.9.2010.
Date of commencement, 14.1.2011, sec 2 and 2011 (2) LW 14.1.2011.
2011 No 18 Evidence Amendment (Journalist Privilege) Act 2011. Assented to 21.6.2011.
Date of commencement, assent, sec 2.
2013 No 9 Evidence Amendment (Evidence of Silence) Act 2013. Assented to 25.3.2013.
Date of commencement, 1.9.2013, sec 2 and 2013 (446) LW 23.8.2013.
No 80 Crimes and Courts Legislation Amendment Act 2013. Assented to 29.10.2013.
Date of commencement, assent, sec 2.
2014 No 5 Bail (Consequential Amendments) Act 2014. Assented to 12.3.2014.
Date of commencement, 20.5.2014, sec 2 and 2014 (235) LW 24.4.2014.
2015 No 7 Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Legislation Amendment Act 2015. Assented to 9.6.2015.
Date of commencement of Sch 2, 1.7.2015, sec 2 (2) and 2015 (299) LW 19.6.2015.
2018 No 4 Justice Legislation Amendment Act 2018. Assented to 21.3.2018.
Date of commencement of Sch 1.8, 2.7.2018, sec 2 (2) and 2018 (133) LW 13.4.2018.
No 28 Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Marriages) Act 2018. Assented to 15.6.2018.
Date of commencement, assent, sec 2.
No 29 Justice Legislation Amendment Act (No 2) 2018. Assented to 21.6.2018.
Date of commencement of Sch 2, assent, sec 2 (1).

Table of amendments

Sec 4 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [1] [2]; 2014 No 5, Sch 2.18 [1].
Sec 8 Am 2001 No 34, Sch 4.17 [1].
Sec 13 Subst 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [3].
Sec 14 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [4].
Sec 18 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [5].
Sec 19 Am 1998 No 158, Sch 2.14; 1999 No 94, Sch 4.21 [1]; 2001 No 121, Sch 2.103 [1]. Subst 2013 No 80, Sch 8. Am 2018 No 29, Sch 2.8.
Sec 20 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [6] [7].
Sec 21 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [8].
Sec 22 Am 2001 No 109, Sch 1 [1] [2].
Sec 23 Am 2001 No 109, Sch 1 [3] [4].
Sec 24A Ins 2001 No 109, Sch 1 [5].
Sec 29 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [9].
Sec 33 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [10].
Sec 37 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [11].
Sec 41 Am 2005 No 25, Sch 2.3. Subst 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [12].
Sec 48 Am 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [1] [2].
Sec 49 Am 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [3].
Sec 50 Am 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [4]; 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [13].
Sec 51 Am 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [5].
Chapter 3, introductory note Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [14].
Chapter 3, introductory note, diagram Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [15].
Sec 59 Am 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [6]; 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [16]-[18].
Sec 60 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [19] [20].
Sec 61 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [21] [22].
Sec 62 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [23].
Sec 63 Am 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [7].
Sec 64 Am 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [8]; 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [24].
Sec 65 Am 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [9]; 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [25]-[27].
Sec 66 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [28].
Sec 66A Ins 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [29].
Sec 71 Subst 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [30].
Sec 72 Subst 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [31].
Sec 73 Am 2018 No 28, Sch 4 [1].
Sec 76 Am 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [10]; 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [32].
Sec 78A Ins 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [33].
Sec 79 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [34].
Sec 82 Am 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [11]; 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [35].
Sec 85 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [36].
Sec 89 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [37]; 2013 No 9, Sch 1 [1].
Sec 89A Ins 2013 No 9, Sch 1 [2].
Sec 97 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [38].
Sec 98 Subst 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [39].
Part 3.7, Div 1 (sec 101A) Ins 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [40].
Part 3.7, Div 2, heading Ins 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [40].
Sec 102 Am 1997 No 55, Sch 1.7 [1]-[3]. Subst 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [40].
Sec 103 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [41] [42].
Sec 104 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [43]-[46].
Sec 106 Subst 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [47].
Sec 107 Rep 1997 No 55, Sch 1.7 [4].
Sec 108 Am 1997 No 55, Sch 1.7 [5] [6].
Part 3.7, Div 3, heading Ins 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [48].
Sec 108A Ins 1997 No 55, Sch 1.7 [7]. Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [49] [50].
Sec 108B Ins 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [51].
Part 3.7, Div 4 (sec 108C) Ins 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [51].
Sec 112 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [52].
Sec 114 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [53].
Sec 117 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [54] [55]; 2015 No 7, Sch 2.17 [1].
Sec 118 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [56].
Sec 120 Am 1997 No 55, Sch 1.7 [8].
Sec 122 Subst 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [57].
Part 3.10, Div 1A Ins 1997 No 122, Sch 1.
Part 3.10, Div 1A, note Ins 1998 No 54, Sch 2.15 [1]. Rep 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [58].
Sec 126A Ins 1997 No 122, Sch 1. Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [59]; 2011 No 18, Sch 1 [1].
Sec 126B Ins 1997 No 122, Sch 1. Am 2011 No 18, Sch 1 [2].
Secs 126C-126E Ins 1997 No 122, Sch 1.
Sec 126F Ins 1997 No 122, Sch 1. Am 1999 No 48, Sch 2.1 [1]; 2001 No 121, Sch 2.103 [2]; 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [60].
Part 3.10, Div 1B Ins 1997 No 122, Sch 1. Subst 1999 No 48, Sch 2.1 [2].
Part 3.10, Div 1B, note Ins 1998 No 54, Sch 2.15 [1]. Subst 1999 No 48, Sch 2.1 [2].
Sec 126G Ins 1997 No 122, Sch 1. Subst 1999 No 48, Sch 2.1 [2]. Am 1999 No 94, Sch 4.70 [1]; 2001 No 121, Sch 2.103 [3].
Sec 126H Ins 1997 No 122, Sch 1. Subst 1999 No 48, Sch 2.1 [2]. Am 1999 No 94, Sch 4.70 [2]; 2001 No 121, Sch 2.103 [4].
Sec 126I Ins 1997 No 122, Sch 1. Subst 1999 No 48, Sch 2.1 [2].
Part 3.10, Div 1C Ins 2011 No 18, Sch 1 [3].
Sec 126J Ins 1997 No 122, Sch 1. Rep 1999 No 48, Sch 2.1 [2]. Ins 2011 No 18, Sch 1 [3].
Sec 126K Ins 1997 No 122, Sch 1. Am 1998 No 54, Sch 2.15 [2]. Rep 1999 No 48, Sch 2.1 [2]. Ins 2011 No 18, Sch 1 [3].
Sec 126L Ins 1997 No 122, Sch 1. Rep 1999 No 48, Sch 2.1 [2]. Ins 2011 No 18, Sch 1 [3].
Sec 128 Am 1995 No 99, Sch 2.6; 1997 No 55, Sch 1.7 [9] [10]. Subst 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [61] (am 2008 No 107, Sch 12 [1]). Am 2010 No 69, Sch 1 [1]-[4].
Sec 128A Ins 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [62] (am 2008 No 107, Sch 12 [2]). Am 2010 No 69, Sch 1 [5].
Sec 131A Ins 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [63]. Am 2011 No 18, Sch 1 [4].
Part 3.11, heading Subst 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [64].
Sec 138, heading Am 1998 No 54, Sch 2.15 [3].
Sec 139 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [65].
Sec 147 Am 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [12].
Sec 148 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [66] [67].
Sec 149 Am 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [13].
Sec 152 Am 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [14].
Sec 154 Am 1997 No 55, Sch 1.7 [11].
Sec 155 Am 1997 No 55, Sch 1.7 [12].
Sec 155A Ins 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [15].
Sec 158 Am 1997 No 55, Sch 1.7 [13].
Sec 160 Am 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [16]; 2018 No 4, Sch 1.8.
Sec 161 Subst 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [68].
Part 4.5, heading Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [69].
Sec 165 Am 2001 No 109, Sch 1 [6] [7]; 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [70] [71].
Secs 165A, 165B Ins 2001 No 109, Sch 1 [8]. Subst 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [72].
Part 4.6, Div 1, note Am 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [17].
Part 4.6, Div 2, note Am 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [18].
Sec 183 Am 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [19].
Sec 184 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [73] [74].
Sec 189 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [75].
Sec 190 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [10].
Sec 191 Am 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [76].
Sec 192A Ins 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [77].
Sec 194 Am 1998 No 107, Sch 3.4; 2014 No 5, Sch 2.18 [2].
Sec 196 Am 2001 No 121, Sch 2.103 [5]; 2007 No 94, Sch 2.
Sec 198 Ins 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [78].
Sch 2 Ins 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [79]. Am 2007 No 46, Schs 1 [80], Sch 2.4 (cll 2-15 of Part 2 transferred from the Evidence (Consequential and Other Provisions) Act 1995 No 27); 2010 No 69, Sch 1 [6]; 2011 No 18, Sch 1 [5]; 2013 No 9, Sch 1 [3] [4]; 2018 No 28, Sch 4 [2].
Dictionary Am 1997 No 55, Sch 1.7 [14]-[16]; 2000 No 53, Sch 1.5 [20] [21]; 2001 No 34, Sch 4.17 [2]; 2002 No 73, Sch 1.10; 2007 No 46, Sch 1 [81]-[90]; 2010 No 69, Sch 1 [7]; 2015 No 7, Sch 2.17 [2]-[4].



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