Jury directions in criminal trials

Reference received: ​16 February 2007

Consultation paper

Consultation Paper 4: Jury directions [PDF, 999Kb], December 2008 

Judicial citations: Blackwell v R [2011] NSWCCA 93 [90]

NSW Law Reform Commission Media ReleaseConsultation paper on jury directions (12 December 2008)

Terms of reference

Pursuant to section 10 of the Law Reform Commission Act 1967, the Law Reform Commission is to inquire into and report on directions and warnings given by a judge to a jury in a criminal trial.

In undertaking this inquiry the Commission should have regard to:

  • the increasing number and complexity of the directions, warnings and comments required to be given by a judge to a jury;
  • the timing, manner and methodology adopted by judges in summing up to juries (including the use of model or pattern instructions);
  • the ability of jurors to comprehend and apply the instructions given to them by a judge;
  • whether other assistance should be provided to jurors to supplement the oral summing up;
  • any other related matter.