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High Court judgments

High Court judgments

By Andrew Yuile

Courts 


R v Falzon [2018] HCA 29 (orders 19 April 2018; reasons 8 August 2018) concerned the admissibility of evidence on grounds of relevance and tendency. The respondent was charged with cultivating a commercial quantity of narcotics and trafficking. In executing search warrants on several properties, the police found drugs, drug paraphernalia and $120,800 in cash. The Crown alleged that the trafficking was constituted by the possession of drugs at the properties for the purpose of sale. The respondent argued that the cash should not be admitted as evidence, because it had no probative value or its prejudicial effect outweighed any probative value. The trial judge ruled the cash admissible and it was led as showing that the respondent was running a business in cultivating drugs for sale. The Court of Appeal allowed an appeal, finding that the Crown case was that the drugs were for future business or sales, not that the respondent was running a business. The cash was relevant only to the business aspect. The majority also found that the evidence was inadmissible propensity or tendency evidence.

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