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VIC Criminal Procedure Act 2009 Not Followed by Police

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by Rod, 15 August 2014.

  1. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys,

    A self-represented accused has requested information from the informant ( police officer) that the CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ACT 2009 says should be provided by the informant. The information is not in the preliminary brief. The information being refused is prior convictions of witnesses.

    The informant has refused in an email to provide the information requested. Is this sufficient grounds to have the charge dismissed? The court is the Magistrates Court Victoria.
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Rod,

    The accused would have grounds for lodging a complaint against the police officer denying the request. This complaint can be made to the police station's chief or, failing that, to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC): Lawhandbook Information Sheet.

    The Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic) itself may also provide for penalty/consequences. This will depend on the exact provision concerned.

    Generally, procedural irregularity will not set aside the charge unless the court considers the irregularity so great that the verdict has been tainted. This will depend on how essential the witness evidence was to the elements of the offence, how much weight they had toward the verdict, reasons for why the police refused to provide prior convictions of witnesses. The accused should certainly bring this up in court and this will certainly weigh against the evidence of the witnesses. However, it is ultimately up to the court to decide whether to disallow the evidence or not, as well as how this affects the ultimate verdict.

    In short, it would not be sufficient grounds, by itself, for striking out the charge.
     
  3. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.
     

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