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Evidence ConcentrateLaw Revision and Study Guide

Evidence Concentrate: Law Revision and Study Guide (7th edn)

Maureen Spencer and John Spencer
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date: 25 September 2023

p. 584. Improperly obtained evidence other than confessionslocked

p. 584. Improperly obtained evidence other than confessionslocked

  • Maureen SpencerMaureen SpencerFormer Associate Professor Middlesex University
  •  and John SpencerJohn SpencerBarrister


This chapter focuses on prosecution evidence that is relevant but improperly obtained and consequently may be excluded by judicial discretion. It looks at the exclusionary discretion contained within s78 of the UK’s Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) and explains how common law and statutory exclusionary discretion may be exercised in relation to other areas of evidence, such as character evidence and hearsay evidence, as well as confessions. The chapter also looks at the most common areas of exclusion, other than confession evidence, including breach or evasion of legislation such as PACE and the Codes of Practice. Police undercover activity is examined. Consideration is given to when a stay of prosecution might be the appropriate procedure. Finally, it discusses the relevant principles of Art 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) that are enshrined in s78 of PACE.

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