Jury directions in criminal trials

Reference received: 16 February 2007


Report 136: Jury directions in criminal trials (PDF, 1.1 MB) [PDF, 1Mb], November 2012

  • Tabled in parliament: 26 March 2013

Other documents ​​


Terms of reference

In a letter to the Commission received on 16 February 2007, the Attorney General, the Hon R J Debus MP issued the following terms of reference:

Pursuant to section 10 of the Law Reform Commission Act 1967, the Law Reform Commission is to inquire into and report on directions and warnings given by a judge to a jury in a criminal trial.

In undertaking this inquiry the Commission should have regard to:

  • the increasing number and complexity of the directions, warnings and comments required to be given by a judge to a jury;
  • the timing, manner and methodology adopted by judges in summing up to juries (including the use of model or pattern instructions);
  • the ability of jurors to comprehend and apply the instructions given to them by a judge;
  • whether other assistance should be provided to jurors to supplement the oral summing up;
  • any other related matter. ​
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