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General Issue

Domestic Relationship Evidence in Queensland: An Analysis of a Misunderstood Provision

Author

Rebecca Campbell

Relationship evidence or evidence that reveals an individual’s propensity to engage in certain offences has been the subject of much discussion in the context of domestic violence. Our understanding and awareness of domestic violence has developed immensely over the past decade and we now understand that domestic violence encapsulates much more than just physical violence against women. We now acknowledge it extends to sexual assault and child sexual abuse. This article examines the current protections provided by the law to restrict the admission of relationship or context evidence in order to ensure an accused person receives a fair trial. It does so by considering the development of the law surrounding relationship evidence, particularly the introduction of s 132 of the Queensland Evidence Act 1977 in 1998. This article explores the application of s 132B and questions whether its aim to simplify the process for admitting relationship evidence has actually been realised.

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