Safety and protection of victim and witnesses

The cases identified here provide examples of the way judicial officers have dealt with some of the issues raised in the context statement.

Click on the citation to be directed to a summary of the case in the Case Database.

  • R v Skey [2020] QDC 27 (9 March 2020) – Queensland District Court

    Per Cash QC DCJ:

    [17] The evidence discloses sufficient reason to receive the evidence of the complainant in a manner that differs from usual procedures. As noted, the prosecution proposed that the complainant testify over video-link with a support person and that the evidence be recorded before the trial. The defendant did not object to a support person but opposed the other measures. The defendant submitted that to receive evidence by video-link would detract from the "atmosphere" of the trial and the ability of the jury to assess the reactions and demeanour of the complainant in a case where her credit was central to the trial. In this way the defendant would suffer impermissible disadvantage.

    [18] I did not accept this submission. Taking evidence by video-link is now almost commonplace. The notion that juries who see video evidence are less able to determine issues of credit is not a proposition with which I would readily agree. There is research to suggest that an average person’s ability to detect lies based on "demeanour" is little better than chance.*

    * Citing: Ekman, P, Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics and Marriage (Norton, New York, 1985); Aamodt, MG and Custer H, ‘Who can best catch a liar? A meta-analysis of individual differences in detecting deception’ (2006) (Spring) The Forensic Examiner, 6–11; Bond, CF and DePaulo, BM, ‘Accuracy of deception judgments’ (2006) 10 Personality and Social Psychology Review, 214–234.