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Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

15. Confessions  

This chapter discusses the admissibility of confessions under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (the 1984 Act). It considers how, under s 76(2) of the 1984 Act, confessions may be excluded as a matter of law where obtained by oppression or in consequence of something said or done which was likely to render any such confession unreliable. It also considers the discretion to exclude confessions under s 78(1) of the 1984 Act; the effect of breaches of the Codes of Practice issued under the 1984 Act; the voir dire; statements made in the presence of the accused; and facts discovered in consequence of inadmissible confessions.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

17. Evidence of character: evidence of character in civil cases  

This chapter discusses the admissibility of evidence of character. A number of factors govern the admissibility of character evidence, including whether the proceedings are civil or criminal and whether the evidence relates to the character of a party or non-party. It is also necessary to consider the nature of the character evidence in question. It may relate to either good or bad character and, in either event, may constitute evidence of a person’s actual disposition, that is his propensity to act, think, or feel in a given way; or evidence of his reputation, that is his reputed disposition or propensity to act, think, or feel in a given way. Thus, the character of a person may be proved by evidence of general disposition, by evidence of specific examples of his conduct on other occasions (including, in the case of bad conduct, evidence of his previous convictions), or by evidence of his reputation among those to whom he is known. The chapter considers civil cases in which bad character designated ‘similar fact evidence’ has been admitted.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

20. Experts and opinion evidence  

This chapter discusses the law on experts and opinion evidence. As a general rule, opinion evidence is inadmissible: a witness may only speak of facts that he personally perceived, not of inferences drawn from those facts. However, there are two exceptions to this general rule: (i) an appropriately qualified expert may state his opinion on a matter calling for the expertise that he possesses; and (ii) a non-expert witness may state his opinion on a matter not calling for any particular expertise as a way of conveying the facts that he personally perceived. Experts may also give evidence of fact based on their expertise. The chapter covers the duties of experts and the rules which apply where parties propose to call expert evidence.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

5. Documentary and real evidence  

This chapter discusses the law on documentary evidence and real evidence. It addresses the following key issues: Where a party to litigation wishes to adduce in evidence a statement contained in a document, (a) should it be open to proof by production of a copy of the document and, if so, (b) in what circumstances and subject to what safeguards? Where a party to litigation wishes to admit a document in evidence, (a) should he be required to establish that it was written, signed, or attested by the person by whom it purports to be written, signed, or attested and, if so, (b) how should these matters be established? When should material objects and other types of real evidence be admissible in evidence and why do they need to be accompanied by oral testimony? When, and subject to what safeguards, should a court inspect a place or object out of court?

Book

Cover Evidence Concentrate
Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. Evidence Concentrate is supported by extensive online resources to take your learning further. Written by experts, it covers all the key topics so you can approach your exams with confidence. The clear, succinct coverage enables you to quickly grasp the fundamental principles of this area of law and helps you succeed in exams. This guide has been rigorously reviewed and is endorsed by students and lecturers for level of coverage, accuracy, and exam advice. It is clear, concise, and easy to use, helping you get the most out of your revision. After an introduction, the book covers principles and key concepts; burden of proof; confessions and the defendant’s silence; improperly obtained evidence, other than confessions; character evidence; hearsay evidence; competence and compellability, special measures; identification evidence and questioning at trial; opinion evidence; public interest immunity; and privilege.

Chapter

Cover Evidence Concentrate

6. Hearsay evidence  

This chapter, which focuses on hearsay evidence and its relationship to confessions, first considers the rule against hearsay and its application to out-of-court statements of witnesses in civil and criminal cases. It then looks at statements, both oral and written, and gestures, as well as the admissibility of hearsay in criminal proceedings under the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) 2003 and, in outline, in civil proceedings under the Civil Evidence Act (CEA) 1995. The survival of some common law rules on hearsay is discussed. The chapter also explains the legal distinction between first-hand (what X told Y) and multiple hearsay (what X told Y who told Z). It concludes by discussing the landmark decisions under Art 6(3)(d) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Chapter

Cover Evidence Concentrate

9. Opinion evidence  

This chapter, which focuses on opinion evidence in criminal and civil cases in the UK, explains the rule on the admissibility of opinion evidence, largely expert opinion. The notice and disclosure rules in criminal cases under the Criminal Procedure Rules (CPR) are outlined. The criteria for the admissibility of expert evidence, the responsibilities of expert witnesses, and the approach of the courts to new areas of expertise are examined in detail. It also considers the presentation of expert evidence, including the use of court-appointed experts, in civil cases under the CPR, and, finally, examines the ultimate issue rule, which has been abolished by s33(1) of the Civil Evidence Act (CEA) 1972.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

11. Evidence obtained by illegal or unfair means  

This chapter discusses the circumstances in which relevant evidence can be excluded, as a matter of law or discretion, on the grounds that it was obtained illegally, improperly, or unfairly. The principles for exclusion of evidence are considered, and exclusion in both civil and criminal cases are covered. In respect of civil cases, discretionary exclusion under the civil procedure rules is examined, and in respect of criminal cases, discretionary exclusion at common law and under statute is discussed. The chapter also considers the circumstances in which criminal proceedings should be stayed as an abuse of the court’s process, where a trial would undermine public confidence in the criminal justice system and bring it into disrepute.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

12. Hearsay in criminal cases  

This chapter discusses the meaning of hearsay in criminal proceedings and the categories of hearsay admissible by statute in such proceedings. It considers the relationship between the hearsay provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (the 2003 Act) and Art 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights as it relates to hearsay; the definition of hearsay, and its admissibility under the 2003 Act, including admissibility under an inclusionary discretion (s 114(1)(d)); and safeguards including provisions relating to the capability and credibility of absent witnesses, the power to stop a case and the discretion to exclude. Also considered in this chapter are: expert reports; written statements under s 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967; and depositions of children and young persons under s 43 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

19. Evidence of character: evidence of bad character in criminal cases  

This chapter begins with an introduction to the statutory framework governing the admissibility of bad character evidence. It goes on to consider the statutory definition of ‘bad character’ and to discuss the admissibility of evidence of bad character in criminal cases under the Criminal Justice Act 2003, namely: the admissibility of the bad character of a person other than the defendant and the requirement of leave; the admissibility of evidence of the bad character of the defendant under various statutory ‘gateways’, including the gateway by which evidence may be admitted if it is relevant to an important matter in issue between the defendant and the prosecution; and safeguards including the discretion to exclude evidence of bad character and the judge’s power to stop a case where the evidence is contaminated. Procedural rules are also considered, as is the defendant’s right to challenge evidence of bad character.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

2. Preliminaries  

This chapter discusses the following: (i) facts that are open to proof or disproof in English courts of law: facts in issue, relevant facts, and collateral facts; (ii) the varieties of evidence: testimony, hearsay evidence, documentary evidence, real evidence, circumstantial evidence (including motive, plans and preparatory acts, capacity, opportunity, identity, continuance, failure to give evidence or call witnesses, failure to provide samples, lies and standards of comparison), and conclusive evidence; (iii) the concepts of relevance and admissibility; (iv) the weight of evidence; (v) the functions of the judge and jury; (vi) judicial discretion to admit or exclude evidence.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

23. Admissibility of previous verdicts  

This chapter examines the circumstances in which a verdict is admissible in subsequent proceedings as evidence of the facts on which it was based. It analyses the rule in Hollington v Hewthorn & Co Ltd, which has been widely criticized, that judgments are not admissible as evidence of the facts on which they are based. Its effect, in both civil and criminal proceedings, has been largely removed by the Civil Evidence Act 1968 and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, respectively. Concerning civil proceedings, consideration is given to previous convictions generally, previous convictions in defamation proceedings, previous findings of adultery and paternity, previous acquittals, and other previous findings. Concerning criminal proceedings, consideration is given to previous convictions of the accused, previous convictions of persons other than the accused, and previous acquittals.

Chapter

Cover Evidence

11. Confessions  

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. This chapter discusses the following: what constitutes a ‘confession’ under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE), s 82(1); when an accused’s silence may amount to an admission at common law, whether a denial can ever amount to a ‘confession’; the conditions of admissibility of confessions under PACE; confessions made by mentally handicapped persons (PACE, s 77); the admissibility of evidence discovered in consequence of an inadmissible confession; using an inadmissible confession to show that the accused speaks, writes, or expresses himself in a particular way; the status of ‘mixed statements’; whether one accused’s admission can ever provide evidence against a co-accused; an accused’s right to use a co-accused’s confession (PACE, s 76A); the admissibility of confessions by third parties.

Chapter

Cover International Law Concentrate

10. Peaceful settlement of disputes  

This chapter examines the means and methods relating to the peaceful settlement of international disputes. The UN Charter obliges States to resolve their disputes peacefully and suggests certain means for such settlement: on the one hand, diplomatic means, like negotiation, mediation, conciliation, or the ‘good offices’ of the UN Secretary General and, on the other, legal methods, such as arbitration and recourse to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which are binding. The ICJ exercises its jurisdiction over contentious cases only upon the consent of the parties to the dispute, which may be expressed through various forms (eg compromis or optional clause declaration). The ICJ may also render advisory opinions to questions of international law posed by the UN General Assembly, the Security Council, or other competent organs and organizations. The chapter also explains dispute settlement in the context of international investor–State arbitration and in the World Trade Organization.

Chapter

Cover International Law

15. Issues of Admissibility and the Law on International Responsibility  

Phoebe Okowa

This chapter examines the legal regime governing the admissibility of claims in international adjudication. Particular attention is paid to the modalities of establishing legal interest in respect of claims brought by States in their own right and on behalf of their nationals. The role of nationality is examined and the problems posed by competing claims in relation to multiple nationalities are explored. The unique nature of the problems raised in extending diplomatic protection to corporations and shareholding interests is considered in light of the jurisprudence of international tribunals. The final section considers the ambit of the rule on exhaustion of local remedies and its effect on the admissibility of claims. The parameters of the rule are explored and circumstances when, as a matter of policy, it ought to be regarded as inapplicable are discussed.

Chapter

Cover Cross & Tapper on Evidence

I. Introduction  

This introductory chapter discusses the relevance of evidence in the courtroom. It first explores the development of the law of evidence beginning from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The chapter then studies the extent to which the law of evidence applies to all of the different stages and matters considered by the courts and to other tribunals. The main purposes and categories of evidence are next considered and exemplified, together with the question of whether any broad general rules can usefully be elaborated. Finally, this chapter turns to its most fundamental principle — relevance, which is contrasted with the admissibility of evidence.

Chapter

Cover Evidence Concentrate

1. Introduction, principles, and key concepts  

This chapter introduces the principles and key concepts underlying the law of evidence, with an emphasis on criminal evidence. It reviews Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), now part of English law as a result of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA). It points to factors which are reducing adversarialism in English criminal trials. The risks, along with the advantages, of the increasing use of computer technology in presenting evidence, are illustrated by reference to the wrongful prosecutions of hundreds of Post Office counter staff for dishonesty offences. The chapter concludes by highlighting the importance of analysis of the relevance of the facts in a trial.

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Cover Evidence Concentrate

5. Character evidence  

This chapter, which focuses on the admissibility and evidential worth of character evidence, explains the definition of bad character under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (CJA). It examines how bad character evidence of the defendant may be admitted through one of the ‘gateways’ under the Act. It reviews the evidential worth of the character evidence if admitted and explains the difference between propensity and credibility. The law on the admissibility of the bad character of non-defendant witnesses is explained and the reasons for a more protective stance highlighted. The chapter concludes with a review of the admissibility of good character evidence, governed by the common law.

Chapter

Cover Brownlie's Principles of Public International Law

31. The claims process  

This chapter considers preliminary issues, involving both jurisdiction and admissibility, before international courts and tribunals. It discusses prior negotiations, the requirement of a dispute, grounds of inadmissibility, diplomatic protection, and mixed claims.

Chapter

Cover Murphy on Evidence

12. The rule against hearsay III  

Admissions and confessions

Admissions and confessions are the most important common law exceptions to the rule against hearsay. Section 118(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 preserves any rule of law relating to the admissibility of admissions made by agents in criminal proceedings. This chapter is divided into two parts, the first of which discusses admissions, covering the principles of admissibility; what admissions may bind a party; and what may be proved by admission. The second part deals with confessions, covering the admissibility of confessions; the exclusion of confessions; evidence yielded by inadmissible confessions; excluded confessions as relevant non-hearsay evidence; confessions by the mentally handicapped and those otherwise impaired; the Codes of Practice and the discretionary exclusion of confessions; the use of confessions by co-accused; confessions implicating co-accused; and partly adverse (‘mixed’) statements.