13.1 The uniform Evidence Acts address a number of issues concerning ‘eyewitness evidence’—that is, evidence which identifies the defendant as being, or resembling someone who was, present at or near a place where an offence for which the defendant is being prosecuted was committed. The evidence must be based wholly or partly on what the person making the identification saw or heard at that place at the time the offence occurred.

13.2 The rules governing the admissibility of identification evidence are in Part 3.9 of the uniform Evidence Acts, which is limited to criminal proceedings. These rules reflect, but strengthen, the common law, creating significant procedural requirements.

13.3 This chapter discusses certain aspects of the provisions dealing with identification evidence, including:

  • the definition of ‘identification evidence’ and whether it covers evidence of resemblance, DNA evidence and exculpatory evidence;

  • the requirements relating to identification parades in order for identification evidence to be admissible;

  • rules governing identification using pictures kept for the use of police officers (‘picture identification evidence’);

  • directions to the jury regarding identification evidence; and

  • the admissibility of ‘in-court’ or ‘dock’ identification evidence.