Views and demonstrations

It is, therefore, logical that, from time to time, it might be considered in the interests of justice that a jury be permitted to personally attend a location relevant to a trial they are presently considering, or see some piece of evidence demonstrated.

In the majority, evidence is introduced through verbal evidence from witnesses. However, there are many circumstances where a more direct approach the helpful.

It is, therefore, logical that, from time to time, it might be considered in the interests of justice that a jury be permitted to personally attend a location relevant to a trial they are presently considering, or see some piece of evidence demonstrated.

The authorities make it clear that the defendant has a right to be present at any view, although there is no irregularity in proceeding with a view in circumstances where the defendant has declined to attend

In Ha v The Queen [2014] VSCA 335 (later approved of and adopted in R v Rogerson; R v McNamara (No 10) [2015] NSWSC 1067, the Victorian Court of Appeal set out an appropriate procedure for a view, and affirmed the necessity of ensuring that a proper record is made of what transpires on a view.

This chapter also looks at in-court demonstrations and the fairness (or otherwise) of the court permitting these to take place.

Delon

R v Delon (1992) 29 NSWLR 29

“It must be a matter for the discretion of the trial judge to decide whether the holding of a view in a particular case will be of sufficient assistance to the trial's being fairly conducted to justify the time and expense of taking the jury to a particular place.”