Law Reform Commission of Western Australia
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Project 83 - Payment of witnesses in civil proceedings

Project No. 83

Commenced: 1986
Completed: 1989

In 1986, the Commission was asked to consider and report on the law and practice relating to the payment of compensation in respect of persons who appear, or who are required or undertake to appear, as witnesses in, or who are required or undertake to produce any document or thing in, a civil or other legal proceeding but excluding criminal proceedings.

Terms of Reference

The Commission was originally invited to investigate the situation that arises when state public servants are called to give evidence. Because public servants are paid by their employer while attending court, they do not receive an allowance from a party to the proceedings. Consequently, state government departments or agencies bear the cost of this aspect of the proceedings rather than the party that calls the witness. A similar problem arises with private employers who pay their staff when they attend a hearing.


The Commission concluded that it would recommend that no changes be made to the current law relating to the payment of witnesses in civil proceedings.

Last updated: 31-Jan-2017

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