Corroboration is where the evidence is confirmed or supported by another witness. Generally corroboration is unnecessary. In Western Australia an accused can be convicted on the evidence of one witness without corroboration for perjury.
There are no requirements of corroboration for evidence given by children. The judge cannot suggest that evidence is unreliable simply because it is given by a child.
Corroboration Warnings Edit
There used to be a requirement that the judge warn the jury about the lack of corroboration. The warning included a statement that it would be unsafe to reach a conclusion of guilty in reliance on this evidence alone. However now there is no need for such a warning. However a judge can give warnings if required.
Circumstances where a warning is relevant:
- Traditionally sexual complainants were not viewed as reliable witnesses.
- Aim of a corroboration warning is to put all evidence from different witnesses on equal grounds. Where there is a delay in the making of a complaint which creates forensic disadvantages for the accused then this can be considered by the jury and a warning may be required.
- On appeal courts will look to whether a miscarriage of justice occurred from the lack of an inadequate warning made by the trial judge.
This is evidence which is independently made by another witness and shows or suggests a connection between the accused and the crime. It must show that the crime occurred and that the accused was the one to do it. It can be either circumstantial or direct evidence. Such evidence must independently have weight in proving the issues. Evidence is admissible if the inference to be drawn from it of the accused’s guilt could be made by a reasonable jury.