Inquiry with other law reform bodies

1.17 This project was conceived from the outset as a ‘joint venture’ between the ALRC and the NSWLRC. The scope of the project has widened since the publication of IP 28 as a result of the terms of reference received by the VLRC. The three Commissions collaborated to produce an agreed set of proposals in DP 69, and have produced agreed recommendations in this Report. In addition, an ongoing consultative relationship has been established with the Tasmania Law Reform Institute (TLRI), the QLRC, the NTLRC and the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia (LRCWA). In October 2005, representatives of all of the law reform bodies, with the exception of the QLRC, met at the ALRC offices to discuss and formulate the recommendations contained in this Report.[17]

1.18 The recommendations for legislative amendment contained in this Report have direct application to the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) and the Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) and to the provisions which will apply in Victoria as a result of the introduction of the uniform Evidence Act. In the interests of uniformity, it is hoped that the recommendations will be taken up, where applicable, by other participants in the uniform Evidence Acts regime (Tasmania and Norfolk Island), and by those jurisdictions which subsequently enact a uniform Evidence Act. The involvement of the law reform bodies noted in the preceding paragraph should facilitate this outcome.

1.19 This Report is a joint effort of the ALRC, VLRC and NSWLRC (the Commissions), and the Commissions have commented on all chapters of this Report. The VLRC had primary responsibility for researching and writing the chapters dealing with competence and compellability, tendency and coincidence and credibility evidence. The NSWLRC had primary responsibility for researching and writing the judicial notice and documentary evidence chapters. The ALRC had primary responsibility for researching and writing the remaining chapters.

1.20 Where a recommendation relates only to one jurisdiction,[18] the Commissions, in jointly making the proposal, rely on the requirement in the Terms of Reference of all three Commissions to promote greater harmonisation of the laws of evidence in Australia. Hence, such proposals are made by all of the Commissions, not just the Commission in the relevant jurisdiction.

[17] A representative from the QLRC was invited to participate in the consultations, but was unavailable.

[18] For example, Rec 2–1.