Note: Section 3 enables Aboriginal people, for the first time, to give unsworn evidence in Court.


1876: 40 Victoria, No. 8. An Act for the further amendment of the Law of Evidence.

[14 August, 1876.]


WHEREAS it is expedient further to amend the Law of Evidence,

Be it enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly of New South Wales in Parliament assembled and by the authority of the same as follows :


Parties to actions for breach of promise in marriage may be witnesses.

1. The parties to any action for breach of promise of marriage shall be competent to give evidence in such action. Provided always that the plaintiff therein shall recover a verdict unless his or her testimony shall be corroborated by some other material evidence in support of such promise.


Witnesses to character.

2. Every person called on behalf of an accused person as to his character shall be permitted to give evidence not only as to the general repute (if any) of the accused but also as to the witness's own knowledge of his habits disposition and conduct. And the like where person is examined respecting the character of any witness. But no witness shall be allowed to state that he would not believe another on his oath and evidence to the character of the accused shall in all cases be received and dealt with as evidence on the question of his guilt.


Declaration in lieu of oath.

3. Whenever any person called to give evidence in any Court or before any Justice or other person authorized to administer an oath whether in a civil or criminal proceeding shall object to take an oath or be reasonably objected to as incompetent to take an oath shall make the following promise in lieu of such oath - In the case in which I am now called as a witness I promise to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth And any person who such promise shall wilfully and corruptly give any false be deemed guilty of perjury.


Short title.

4. This Act may be cited for all purposes as the " Evidence Amendment Act 1876."