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Will your witness stand up on appeal?

Bugeja v Jarrett [2017] NSWCA 219

Appeal courts hesitate to overturn the factual findings of a trial judge who has formed a view about the reliability of testimony after having had the advantage of observing the witnesses and making findings of credit. Even so, as was observed by the High Court in Fox v Percy, sometimes …‘ incontrovertible facts or uncontested testimony will demonstrate that the trial judge's conclusions are erroneous, even when they appear to be, or are stated to be, based on credibility findings.’

This occurred recently in the decision of the NSW Court of Appeal in Bugeja v Jarrett, a case in which the driver of a vehicle at the rear of a three-car pileup sued the front driver for damages.

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