Last month, the Senate passed the Civil Law and Justice Legislation Amendment Bill 2018, which serves to improve the operation and clarity of civil justice legislation administered by the Attorney-General.
Schedule 5 of the Bill introduces amendments to the Evidence Act 1995, by extending the postal evidence rule to accord with changes to Australia Post delivery times.
Currently, s 160 (1) of the Evidence Act states that “it is presumed … that a postal article sent by prepaid post addressed to a person… was received at that address on the fourth working day after having been posted.”
However, under the amendments, post will now be deemed to have been received on the ‘7th working day.’
The change will come into effect on the day which the Bill is given Royal Assent, which is likely to be in early October.
However, it is important to note that this change will not affect Commonwealth deeming rules, which, pursuant to The Acts Interpretation Act 1901, deem that service is “to have been effected at the time at which the letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.”