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Chapter

Cover Evidence

3. Witnesses: competence, compellability, and various privileges  

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 competence of witnesses in civil and criminal cases; the compellability of witnesses, and of the accused and the spouse or civil partner in criminal cases in particular; sworn and unsworn evidence; privileges enjoyed by certain categories of witness, focusing upon the privilege against self-incrimination, and legal professional privilege (in the form of both legal advice privilege and litigation privilege); and public interest immunity.

Chapter

Cover Murphy on Evidence

11. The rule against hearsay II  

Common law and statutory exceptions

This chapter discusses the statutory exceptions to the inadmissibility of hearsay evidence in criminal cases that were created by the Criminal Justice Act 2003. The impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 on the admissibility of hearsay evidence is discussed, including the important cases of Horncastle and Al-Khawaja and Tahery v United Kingdom, where the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights came into conflict over whether an accused may be convicted where the ‘sole and decisive’ evidence against him is hearsay. The common law exceptions preserved by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 are then considered—res gestae. The chapter ends with discussion of the abolition of hearsay in civil proceedings by the Civil Evidence Act 1995.

Chapter

Cover Murphy on Evidence

14. Character evidence I  

Character evidence generally; in civil cases; evidence of good character

This chapter is divided into three sections. The first section discusses the uses and development of character evidence from the common law through to the codification provided by the Criminal Justice Act 2003. The second section deals with evidence of character in civil cases, covering defamation cases; evidence of good character; and evidence of bad character. The third section focuses on evidence of good character in criminal cases, including the important case of Hunter [2015] 1 WLR 5367, and covers admissibility and methods of proof; kinds of evidence permitted; rebuttal of evidence of good character; and evidential value of evidence of good character.

Chapter

Cover Murphy on Evidence

4. The burden and standard of proof  

This first part of the chapter discusses the concept of burden of proof, covering the legal or persuasive burden of proof; the evidential burden; the effect of presumptions on the burden of proof; the legal burden of proof in civil cases; the evidential burden in civil cases; the burden of proof in criminal cases; defence burdens of proof before Lambert; defence burdens of proof after Lambert; and the burden of proof of secondary facts. The second part of the chapter discusses the standard of proof, covering standard of proof required of prosecution in criminal cases; standard of proof required of defence; standard of proof of secondary facts; the standard of proof in civil cases; and the standard of proof in matrimonial and family cases.

Chapter

Cover Evidence

12. Expert Evidence  

Chapter 12 deals with expert evidence. It discusses the principles governing the admissibility of expert opinion evidence; use of the work of others and the rule against hearsay; expert witnesses; ‘battles of experts’ and the presentation of expert evidence; and disclosure and evaluation of expert evidence.

Chapter

Cover Evidence

10. The rule against hearsay  

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 rule against hearsay is one of the great exclusionary rules of the law of evidence. In a system that places a premium on orality, with witnesses delivering their testimony in person, it is an understandable corollary that witness A should often be forbidden from giving testimony on behalf of witness B. This chapter discusses the following: the rationale underlying a rule against hearsay; the hearsay rule in criminal cases, and its many exceptions, both at common law and under statute; and the remnants of the hearsay rule in civil proceedings.

Chapter

Cover Evidence

8. Evidence of the defendant’s bad character  

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. Human behaviour tends to follow patterns. Those who have previously been convicted of crime, or who can be shown to have committed other offences or to have behaved disreputably, either have a tendency to reoffend or are more likely to commit offences than those without such attributes. A defendant’s previous bad character may also reflect on credibility. This chapter discusses the following: the problem of whether or not to admit evidence of a defendant’s misconduct on other occasions; the situations in which evidence of a defendant’s bad character may become admissible in criminal cases, and the purposes for which it may be admitted. The admission of similar fact evidence in civil cases is also discussed.