High Court of Australia

Smith v The Queen [2015] HCA 27

5 Aug 2015

Case Number: B18/2015

Before

French CJ, Kiefel, Bell, Gageler, Gordon JJ

Catchwords

Criminal law – Appeal – Appeal against conviction – Fair trial – Procedural fairness – Jury disclosed interim votes and interim voting patterns to judge – Judge did not disclose jury's interim votes or voting patterns to counsel – Judge's obligation to inform counsel of precise terms of jury's questions – Whether appellant denied procedural fairness by non-disclosure of jury's interim votes and voting patterns – Whether jury's interim votes and voting patterns relevant consideration to issue before court – Whether jury's interim votes and voting patterns relevant to discretion to permit majority verdict or discharge jury – Whether disclosure of jury's interim votes and voting patterns necessary for proper performance of jury's functions.

Criminal law – Confidentiality of jury deliberations – Directions to jury – Directions not to communicate or reveal interim votes or interim voting patterns to court – Whether appropriate for trial judge to inquire of jury as to interim votes or voting patterns.

Words and phrases – "capacity to influence the trial judge's exercise of discretion", "confidentiality of jury deliberations", "interim votes", "interim voting patterns", "necessary for the proper performance of the jury's functions", "procedural fairness".

Jury Act 1995 (Q) – ss 50, 59A, 60(1), 70.
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