New South Wales Consolidated Acts

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EVIDENCE ACT 1995 - SECT 48

Proof of contents of documents

48 Proof of contents of documents

(1) A party may adduce evidence of the contents of a document in question by tendering the document in question or by any one or more of the following methods:
(a) adducing evidence of an admission made by another party to the proceeding as to the contents of the document in question,
(b) tendering a document that:
(i) is or purports to be a copy of the document in question, and
(ii) has been produced, or purports to have been produced, by a device that reproduces the contents of documents,
(c) if the document in question is an article or thing by which words are recorded in such a way as to be capable of being reproduced as sound, or in which words are recorded in a code (including shorthand writing)--tendering a document that is or purports to be a transcript of the words,
(d) if the document in question is an article or thing on or in which information is stored in such a way that it cannot be used by the court unless a device is used to retrieve, produce or collate it--tendering a document that was or purports to have been produced by use of the device,
(e) tendering a document that:
(i) forms part of the records of or kept by a business (whether or not the business is still in existence), and
(ii) is or purports to be a copy of, or an extract from or a summary of, the document in question, or is or purports to be a copy of such an extract or summary,
(f) if the document in question is a public document--tendering a document that is or purports to be a copy of the document in question and that is or purports to have been printed:
(i) by a person authorised by or on behalf of the government to print the document or by the Government Printer of the Commonwealth or by the government or official printer of another State or a Territory, or
(ii) by the authority of the Government or administration of the State, the Commonwealth, another State, a Territory or a foreign country, or
(iii) by authority of an Australian Parliament, a House of an Australian Parliament, a committee of such a House or a committee of an Australian Parliament.
(2) Subsection (1) applies to a document in question whether the document in question is available to the party or not.
(3) If the party adduces evidence of the contents of a document under subsection (1) (a), the evidence may only be used:
(a) in respect of the party's case against the other party who made the admission concerned, or
(b) in respect of the other party's case against the party who adduced the evidence in that way.
(4) A party may adduce evidence of the contents of a document in question that is not available to the party, or the existence and contents of which are not in issue in the proceeding, by:
(a) tendering a document that is a copy of, or an extract from or summary of, the document in question, or
(b) adducing from a witness evidence of the contents of the document in question.
Notes :
1 Clause 5 of Part 2 of the Dictionary is about the availability of documents.
2 Section 182 of the Commonwealth Act gives section 48 of the Commonwealth Act a wider application in relation to Commonwealth records and certain Commonwealth documents.



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