NSW Evidence - Dictionary Definitions

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by Jones-Smith, 22 September 2018.

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  1. Jones-Smith

    Jones-Smith Active Member

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    I wish to take a traffic matter to court.

    Essential to the case are the admission of dictionary definition for certain terms.

    How do I admit these dictionary definitions into the court?
     
  2. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    First you have to look to see whether the terms are defined in the relevant Act, the Interpretation Act, or binding court precedent. If not, I understand the courts will generally take the Macquarie Dictionary definition.
     
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  3. Jones-Smith

    Jones-Smith Active Member

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    Thank you. However, the question was how do I admit the evidence.

    For example, can I admit evidence in my opening statement?
     
  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    Which terms?
     
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  5. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    My response was to first make sure that the dictionary definitions are indeed the correct definitions to be using. If the words are defined under an act, the dictionary definition will not necessarily apply.

    If the dictionary term is indeed what you’re after, you don’t admit it to evidence. You submit that the court should accept that definition in your submissions.
     
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  6. Jones-Smith

    Jones-Smith Active Member

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    u-turn, which is a term specifically coming from U+ turn due to the shape of the turn.
    Turn, which means a continuous route around an axis.

    These are the standard definitions in many dictionaries.

    I have asked 20 people what they thought a U-turn was and this is what they gave me. I have checked 10 dictionaries and almost all of them had similar definitions.

    It seems that the only person who thought differently was the policeman who was interested in stealing money from me with absolutely no concern for safety.
     
  7. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    "U-turn" is a defined term under the NSW Road Rules 2014:

    "U-turn means a turn made by a driver so that the driver’s vehicle faces in approximately the opposite direction from which it was facing immediately before the turn was made, but does not include a turn made at a roundabout."

    What the dictionary says will have little application, and what a group of people you interview say will have even less.

    If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that your argument is that you didn't execute the 'turn' in one continuous motion. If so, I wouldn't bother with trying to make that argument. The execution will be considered secondary to the intention. If the intention was to end up in the opposite direction of travel, roughly, then it will probably be considered a u-turn regardless of how many passes you had to make at it.

    If that's not your argument, then please disregard my comment.
     
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  8. Jones-Smith

    Jones-Smith Active Member

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    Thank you.

    Yes. The intention was to avoid doing a U-turn which would have been illegal.

    Correct. It was not one turn as required by the definition.

    In many other dictionaries, the standard dictionary definition, the definition that most people use is a continuous turn in the shape of a U.

    Turn is defined as a continuous turn around a point.

    Surely, this is not just another blatant legal theft of money from honest motorists?
     
  9. Jones-Smith

    Jones-Smith Active Member

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    Also, how do I find when the definition of U-turn changed (or was added) to NSW Road Rules?

    When I was learning to drive, the definition was a continuous turn around a point in the shape of a U. The Macquarie dictionary had only just been copied from an American dictionary, a country that has a different basis of laws, drives on the wrong side of the road and along with two other third world countries is the only country who still uses imperial measurement.
     
  10. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    Forget the 'dictionary'. The dictionary that applies is the one in the Act... and it does not provide that the turn must be continuous.

    Whether or not it is a 'blatant legal theft of money' is beside the point - the law is the law. What should and shouldn't be law is a matter of policy, which is up to the politicians and bureaucrats.
     
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