55 VICT. No. 1231.

Passed 23rd December, 1891.
Came into operation on passing.

34. Person charged with offence and wife or husband to be competent as witness.]-Where in any Court, or before any Judge or Justice, a person is presented, indicted, informed against, or charged with an indictable offence or an offence punishable on summary conviction, whether solely or with others, such person and his wife or her husband (as the case may be) may be called as a witness at any stage of the proceedings at which witnesses may be called. Provided as follows:

(1) The person presented, indicted, informed against, or charged shall not be called as a witness without his consent:

(2) The wife or husband of the person presented, indicted, informed against, or charged shall not be called as a witness without the consent of that person except in any case in which such wife or husband might have been compelled to give evidence before the commencement of this Act:

(3) A person called as a witness in pursuance of this section shall not be asked, and if asked shall not be required to answer, either on examination, crossexamination or re-examination, any question not relevant to the particular offence with which he is

charged, unless such person has given evidence of
good character. Provided always that no comment
shall be made upon the fact that
any such
such person
has not given evidence in his own behalf.1

1 See ante, p. 18.

35. Caution to be given to person charged.]-Where a person charged with an offence is not defended by counsel or solicitor, the following caution or words to the like effect shall, before he is called as a witness, be handed to him in writing under the direction of the Court, Judge, or Justice before whom he is charged (that is to say):"Having heard the evidence against you, do you wish to be called as a witness and give evidence in answer to the charge? You are not obliged to be called and give evidence unless you wish, but if you are called the evidence you give may be used against you, and you will be liable to be cross-examined."



ACT No. X. of 1882.

Passed 6th March, 1882.

Came into operation 1st January, 1883: s. 1.

342. Power to examine the accused.]-For the purpose of enabling the accused to explain any circumstances appearing in the evidence against him, the Court may, at any stage of any inquiry or trial, without previously warning the accused, put such questions to him as the Court considers necessary, and shall, for the purpose aforesaid, question him generally on the case after the witnesses for the prosecution have been examined, and before he is called on for his defence.

The accused shall not render himself liable to punishment by refusing to answer such questions, or by giving false answers to them; but the Court and the jury (if any) may draw such inference from such refusal or answers as it thinks just.

The answers given by the accused may be taken into consideration in such inquiry or trial, and put in evidence for or against him in any other inquiry into, or trial for, any other offence which such answers may tend to show he has committed.

No oath shall be administered to the accused.

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