Chapter 2
Preliminary provisions (Part 1 of the Act)


2.1Part 1 contains the preliminary provisions of the Act. It contains provisions relating to interpretation, including the relevance and use to be made of the common law and the courts’ inherent powers, the provisional admission of evidence and the use that may be made of evidence given to establish admissibility.

2.2The only general issue raised with us under Part 1 was the status of the common law under ss 10 and 12 of the Act. This chapter contains discussion of this issue. As ss 10 and 12 are often used to assist in the interpretation of other provisions in the Act, this chapter will also contain brief descriptions of those provisions. However, as the focus of this chapter is on the courts’ interpretation and use of ss 10 and 12, analysis of the other provisions is limited to what is necessary to describe the issue. Detailed consideration of the substantive provisions of the Act occurs later in this report.