Saturday, July 19, 2008

Recent invention afterthoughts ...

I should add to my comments on R v Barlien, last blog (8 July 2008) a reference to the Court of Appeal’s decision of 6 June 2008 in R v S (CA592/07) [2008] NZCA 152. This has just come to my attention, and it is consistent with what I said about the meaning of “recent invention” when I considered R v Barlien.

In R v S the Court held that under s 35 of the Evidence Act 2006, recent invention means an invention made after the event spoken of, and invention includes something reconstructed without conscious dishonesty (para 16).

It seems that the Court was wrong in Barlien to conclude that the defence stance there did not amount to an allegation of recent invention (para 51). In Barlien which was decided on 24 June 2008, R v S was not cited. Both are decisions of the Divisional Court (meaning that a Permanent Member of the Court of Appeal sits with two Justices of the next lower court, the High Court), and one High Court Justice sat on both cases.

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