Jovanovic Direction

In Jovanovic, Sperling J set out a draft direction that emphasised that it “would be wrong to conclude that X is telling the truth because there is no apparent reason, in your view, for X to lie”, In particular because people “lie for all sorts of reasons” and often for reasons that never become apparent.

What has come to be known as the Jovanovic direction is a direction that reminds the jury that a defendant has no burden to prove a motive or reason for complainant to lie. Cross examination of a defendant, or comments to that effect in a closing argument from a Crown Prosecutor, is generally inappropriate, and should no be permitted.

In Jovanovic, Sperling J set out a draft direction that emphasised that it “would be wrong to conclude that X is telling the truth because there is no apparent reason, in your view, for X to lie”, In particular because people “lie for all sorts of reasons” and often for reasons that never become apparent.

On the same topic, in Doe v R [2008] NSWCCA 203, the court set out a number of circumstances that could occasion and miscarriage of justice, in particular focusing on potential cross examination and submissions by the Crown prosecutor.

 

Uhrig

R v Uhrig CCA 24 October 1996

 

“In my view, that danger of such illegitimate speculation is a sufficient reason for saying that the rhetorical question should not be raised in such a case.”