Verdicts

In R v Isaacs (1997) 41 NSWLR 374, the Court of Criminal Appeal favoured Roden J’s dissent in Petroff (1980) 2 A Crim R 101, where His Honour supported a view that judges should “refrain from asking a jury the basis of a verdict of manslaughter, save in exceptional cases.”

This section addresses two particular (and peculiar) issues relating to verdicts.

In R v Campbell [2004] NSWCCA 314, the Court of Criminal Appeal confirmed that there is no impediment to a judge giving a further direction to a jury after an indication has been given that a unanimous verdict has been reached.

The other cases identified below address the question of whether the court should seek further guidance from the jury as to the foundation for a verdict given.

In R v Isaacs (1997) 41 NSWLR 374, the Court of Criminal Appeal favoured Roden J’s dissent in Petroff (1980) 2 A Crim R 101, where His Honour supported a view that judges should “refrain from asking a jury the basis of a verdict of manslaughter, save in exceptional cases.”

In Chiro v The Queen [2017] HCA 37, the High Court came to a someove different conclusion in relation to a charge of persistent sexual exploitation of a child, holding that it was appropriate to seek confirmation from the jury as to which allegations of sexual contact the jury had found proved.

Petroff

Petroff (1980) 2 A Crim R 101

 

“There is no other field of criminal law within which judges adopt the practice of seeking the assistance of jurors in this way when it comes to establishing the appropriate factual basis for sentencing. I do not believe that manslaughter verdicts should be made an exception to this general rule. Neither Stephen J.'s remarks, nor the authorities to which he referred, require this.”