Chapter 3 Hearsay, defendants’ statements and co-defendants’ statements

R2We recommend that the definition of “witness” be kept under review with any problems identified to be considered at the next five year review.

R3We recommend amending the definition of “business record” to exclude police documents containing statements or interviews with eyewitnesses or victims.

R4 We recommend amending s 22 so that a party intending to offer a hearsay statement under s 19(1)(b) must give notice as to why no useful purpose would be served by requiring that person to be a witness.

R5 We recommend inserting a subsection into s 28 that provides that the truth of the statement is irrelevant to the application of that section.

R6 We recommend deleting s 12A and inserting a new provision in subpart 1 of Part 2 that provides a hearsay statement is admissible against a defendant if:

  • there is reasonable evidence that there was a conspiracy or joint enterprise;
  • there is reasonable evidence that the defendant was a member of that conspiracy or joint enterprise; and
  • the hearsay statement was made in furtherance of the conspiracy or joint enterprise.
R7 We recommend that this provision should be subject to the notice provision in s 22, and s 27(1) should be amended to clarify that the restriction on admissibility in relation to co-defendants is subject to the new provision.