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Chapter

Cover Evidence

6. Character and credibility  

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: issue and credit; the concept of ‘credibility’; and bringing out the character of the parties and their witnesses. Evidence introduced to illuminate someone’s character is a fairly common feature in both civil and criminal trials. Considerable restrictions apply in criminal cases since the Criminal Justice Act 2003. According to the context, however, it may fulfil different purposes. Notably, it may serve as a potential indicator of whether or not someone is likely to be a truthful witness.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

20. Witness Statements  

This chapter deals with witness statements. The importance of witness evidence is a historic premise of civil litigation and it remains the case, save only that evidence in chief is now provided through a witness statement unless the court orders otherwise. The fact that the majority of cases settle well before trial provides some complexity as regards how the evidence of a potential witness is handled. The first stage will be to take informal statements. The second stage, where appropriate, is that what a potential witness says may be put into the form of a formal witness statement. The chapter discusses formal requirements for witness statements; drafting a witness statement; drafting an affidavit; exchange of witness statements; and reviewing witness statements.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

16. Adverse inferences from an accused’s silence or conduct  

This chapter discusses the adverse inferences that may be drawn against an accused from: his failure to testify; his failure, when questioned or charged, to mention facts which he could reasonably have been expected to have mentioned at that time and which he later relies on in his defence at trial; his failure or refusal, on arrest, to account for any object, substance, or mark that the police reasonably believe may be attributable to his participation in the commission of an offence; his refusal to consent to the taking of an intimate sample, such as a sample of blood, semen, or urine; and his failure to provide advance disclosure of the defence case, the nature of his defence, or the facts on which he takes issue with the prosecution.

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

6. Witnesses  

This chapter discusses the following: (i) the competence and compellability of witnesses (including the special rules that apply in the case of the accused, the spouse or civil partner of an accused, persons with a disorder or disability of the mind, the Sovereign, diplomats, and bankers); (ii) oaths and affirmations; (iii) the use of live links; (iv) the time at which evidence should be adduced; (v) witnesses in civil cases (including the witnesses to be called and the use of witness statements); (vi) witnesses in criminal cases (including the witnesses to be called, the order of witnesses, evidence-in-chief by video recording and special measures directions for vulnerable and intimidated witnesses); (vii) witness anonymity; and (viii) witness training and familiarization.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

21. The Potential Roles of Experts  

In conducting civil litigation, expert evidence may be required to assist the lawyer in understanding the circumstances of the case, identifying a potential cause of action, evaluating the case and the potential remedies, understanding expert evidence provided for another party, and identifying weaknesses in their case. This chapter first considers the roles of experts in civil litigation. Experts can be involved in capacities such as conducting early neutral evaluation, decision-making, negotiation or mediation, as a witness in court, or as an assessor. When searching for an appropriate expert, lawyers can turn to relevant professional associations for guidance; and some professions also provide support to members who work as professional experts. The remainder of the chapter discusses the procedure for admitting expert evidence in litigation; the requirements for an expert report; and the contents and review of expert reports.

Chapter

Cover Evidence

1. Relevance and admissibility of evidence  

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. The law of evidence regulates what evidence may be admitted at trial and under what conditions such admissible proofs are to be admitted. This chapter discusses the following: the respective functions of judge and jury; the concept of relevance; the so-called ‘best evidence principle’; matters of which proof is unnecessary; judicial findings as evidence; prejudicial evidence, unfairly obtained evidence, and suspect witnesses; and evidence excluded as a matter of public policy—notably, intercepted communications under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Civil Procedure

39. Trial  

This chapter discusses the issues that need to be addressed in the period leading up to a trial. These include contacting witnesses to ensure their availability; obtaining witness summonses where appropriate; briefing trial counsel; agreeing and compiling trial bundles; and counsel preparing speeches, examination-in-chief, and cross-examination of witnesses.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R v Blaue [1975] 1 WLR 1411, Court of Appeal  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Blaue [1975] 1 WLR 1411, Court of Appeal. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R v Blaue [1975] 1 WLR 1411, Court of Appeal  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Blaue [1975] 1 WLR 1411, Court of Appeal. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Cross & Tapper on Evidence

V. Witnesses  

This chapter looks at some special considerations relating to the evidence of witnesses. It first sets out to sketch the way in which this branch of law has changed over time. The chapter then deals with the procedures for taking testimony in the standard case and, in particular, appropriate measures for dealing with witnesses who are fearful. Next, this chapter discusses factors peculiar to particular categories of witness, such as children, spouses, and offenders. In a number of cases, special rules have been devised to cater for these special categories. Sometimes special rules of competence and compulsion, rules requiring supporting evidence, and rules of practice dictating the form of direction are given to the jury when considering such evidence. Finally, the chapter deals with the nature of supporting evidence.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Evidence

8. Opinion evidence  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, bullet-pointed answer plans and suggested answers, author commentary and diagrams and flow charts. This chapter explores an area of evidence law dominated by expert witness evidence and the extent to which flawed testimony leads to miscarriages of justice. Expert evidence is now commonplace in criminal and civil trials, and the courts and Parliament have developed procedures to ensure that it is of high quality. These are an eclectic mix of common law and statute and their development reflects the importance of scientific expertise. It is necessary to be familiar with the differences between expert and non-expert opinion evidence and on when and in what circumstances both types are admissible and questions that can be asked of the expert whilst giving evidence. The approach depends on whether the question relates to civil or criminal trials

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

13. Witnesses  

Chapter 13 examines three broad issues pertaining to witnesses. First, it considers whether certain categories of persons may be incompetent to testify, or, even if competent to testify, may not be compellable to do so. It then examines the relaxation of the rules on corroboration, and the emergence of a more contemporary approach to possibly unreliable witnesses. Finally, it investigates the availability and adequacy of any special measures or procedures for easing the burden on testifying witnesses.

Chapter

Cover Murphy on Evidence

6. Witnesses  

Competence and compellability; oaths and affirmations

This chapter is divided into two parts. The first part discusses the law on witness competence and compatibility. The general rule of law in England and Wales is that all witnesses, including children, are competent (able to give evidence) and witnesses are also compellable (liable to be required to give evidence subject to sanction for contempt). Particular rules apply to children and persons under disability, the accused in a criminal case, and spouses and civil partners. The second part deals with oaths and affirmations, covering the requirement of sworn evidence; the effect of oaths and affirmations; and exceptions to the requirement of sworn evidence.

Chapter

Cover Murphy on Evidence

8. Cross-examination and beyond  

Cross-examination is the process of challenging the evidence of a witness called on behalf of another party, and was described by Wigmore as ‘the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth’. Any witness who has taken the oath becomes liable to cross-examination by any other party. This chapter discusses the general principles of cross-examination (including the effect of an omission to cross-examine, and restrictions and limitations), cross-examination as to credit and an explanation of what constitutes collateral matters, and cross-examination on documents (and the potential effect of this on the admissibility of those documents). The re-examination of witnesses that may follow cross-examination is also considered along with the calling of evidence in rebuttal and a judge’s power to call witnesses.

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

7. Examination-in-chief  

The questioning of witnesses, which generally falls into three stages known as examination-in-chief, cross-examination, and re-examination, is central to the English adversary system of justice. This chapter focuses on the first stage, examination-in-chief. In this stage the party calling a witness, or counsel on his behalf, will seek to elicit evidence that supports his version of the facts in issue. The discussions cover young and vulnerable witnesses; the rule against leading questions and the exceptions to the rule; refreshing the memory in court and out of court; the rule against previous consistent or self-serving statements and the common law exceptions to the rule (complaints in sexual cases, statements admissible to rebut allegations of recent fabrication, statements made on accusation, previous identification, statements admissible as part of the res gestae and statements in documents used to refresh the memory and received in evidence); and unfavourable and hostile witnesses.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

8. Cross-examination and re-examination  

This chapter first discusses cross-examination, the questioning of a witness immediately after his examination-in-chief by the legal representative of the opponent of the party calling him, or by the opposing party in person, and by the legal representative of any other party to the proceedings or by any other party in person. The object of cross-examination is to elicit evidence which supports the cross-examining party’s version of the facts in issue and to cast doubt upon the witness’s evidence-in-chief. It then turns to re-examination. A witness who has been cross-examined may be re-examined by the party who called him. The object of re-examination is to repair damage that has been done by cross-examination.

Chapter

Cover Evidence

4. The course of the trial  

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: the right to begin; the role of the trial judge; the judge’s right to call a witness; examination-in-chief; hostile witnesses; cross-examination; re-examination; calling evidence relating to witnesses’ veracity; witness support; the Crown’s right to reopen its case; and special protections extended to various classes of witness in criminal cases. Many of the rules apply to civil and criminal proceedings alike. However, as elsewhere in this book, the accent will be on rules of criminal evidence.