Admission of documents & purpose of admissability

Robert Bax & Associates v Cavenham Pty Ltd [2012] QCA 177

I refer you to the judgment of Muir JA with whom Martin J and Holmes JA concurred, in relation to the admission of documents and their use:

[46] In Queensland the practice has been that, where a party wishes to confine the evidentiary use which may be made of a document which is admissible for a limited purpose, counsel for that party states that there is no objection to the document being admitted for that purpose or objects to the document being admitted for any other purpose. It is possible that some laxity has arisen in recent years in relation to objections to evidence and there appears to be an increased reluctance now to take evidentiary points unless the evidence objected to is thought to have a potential bearing on the outcome of the case. However, in my view, the practice that I have identified remains. The observations of Callaway JA quoted above assist in illustrating the principle behind the practice. Plainly, a party’s inability to know what evidence was admissible or inadmissible before the close of its case would substantially impede the efficient and due conduct of the case. To the extent that the consequences of a failure to object are determined by the operation of the doctrine of waiver, the effect of the practice in Queensland is that, generally speaking at least, a party who fails to object to inadmissible hearsay evidence contained in a document which is admissible as original evidence will have waived its right to limit the use to which the evidence may be put.

Brisbane Barrister – David Cormack

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