Recent Cases

McNamara v The King [2023] HCA 36 (15 November 2023) (Gageler CJ; Gordon, Steward, Gleeson and Jagot JJ)


Evidence – Criminal trial – Joint trial – Discretionary exclusion rule – Where appellant and co‑accused convicted of murder and supplying large commercial quantity of methylamphetamine – Where appellant sought to lead evidence at trial that co‑accused admitted participation in several homicides and other criminal violence to establish defence of duress – Where evidence excluded because unfairly prejudicial to co‑accused – Where s 135(a) of Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) permits court to refuse to admit evidence if probative value substantially outweighed by danger of unfair prejudice to “a party” – Whether “a party” includes co‑accused in joint criminal trial.

Words and phrases – “a party”, “discretionary exclusion”, “evidence”, “interests of justice”, “joint criminal trial”, “joint indictment”, “jointly charged”, “proceeding”, “reasons of principle and policy”, “right to adduce admissible evidence”, “unfairly prejudicial”.