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Chapter

Cover Cross & Tapper on Evidence

XI. Opinion  

This chapter discusses the law relating to the evidence of opinion. It first considers the rule on the evidence of opinion and explains its rationale, especially the nature of its relationship to the rules excluding hearsay. The chapter discusses two broad spheres of evidence of opinion: expert and non-expert. The first concerns matters calling for specialized skill or knowledge. In this sphere, the only questions are whether the subject of inquiry does raise issues calling for expertise, and whether the witness is a qualified expert. In the residuary non-expert sphere, evidence of opinion will be excluded if the subject is one with regard to which fact and inference can conveniently be kept separate. The chapter then illustrates the operation of the rule, together with the two areas of expert and non-expert opinion in which there are exceptions. Finally, this chapter deals with the reform of the rule.

Chapter

Cover Murphy on Evidence

17. Opinion evidence  

This chapter discusses the following: the general rule of common law that the opinion of a witness is inadmissible, and the exceptions for evidence of general reputation, the opinion of an expert witness within his area of expertise, and the opinion of any witness as a way of conveying facts within the competence of members of the public generally which do not call for specialized knowledge; principles of admissibility; competence; independence and objectivity; the weight of expert opinion evidence; the function of expert evidence; materials used by experts in forming their opinion; expert reports; common subjects of expert evidence; and the admissibility of non-expert opinion evidence. The developments since the Law Commission report on Expert Evidence (No. 325) are addressed, as are the impact of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2015 and the Criminal Practice Direction.

Chapter

Cover Evidence

9. The opinion rule and the presentation of expert 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 ‘opinion rule’ is one of the major exclusionary rules of the law of evidence. This chapter discusses the following: the general rule excluding evidence of opinion; four exceptions to the opinion rule born of necessity; the principal exception to the rule against opinion evidence; expert opinion, where we examine such matters as who may qualify as an expert witness, to what an expert witness may testify, and the reconciliation of expert evidence with the rule against hearsay; the presentation of DNA evidence; the use of Bayes’ theorem, and how a court should instruct the jury in mathematical probabilities. The application of expert evidence in criminal and civil cases is considered separately.

Book

Cover Evidence

Roderick Munday

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. Written by leading academics and renowned for their clarity, these concise texts explain the intellectual challenges of each area of the law. Evidence provides students with a succinct yet thought-provoking introduction to all of the key areas covered on undergraduate law of evidence courses. Vibrant and engaging, the book sets out to demystify a traditionally intimidating area of law. Probing analysis of the issues, both historical and current, ensures that the text contains a thorough exploration of the ‘core’ of the subject. The book covers: the relevance and admissibility of evidence; presumptions and the burden of proof; witnesses: competence, compellability and various privileges; the course of the trial; witnesses’ previous consistent statements and the remnants of the rule against narrative; character and credibility; evidence of the defendant’s bad character; the opinion rule and the presentation of expert evidence; the rule against hearsay; confessions; drawing adverse inferences from a defendant’s omissions, lies or false alibis; and identification evidence. A clearly structured introduction, this is the ideal text for any student who may find evidence a somewhat forbidding subject.

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 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.

Book

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Evidence
The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions and coursework. Each book includes typical questions, bullet-pointed answer plans and suggested answers, author commentary and illustrative diagrams and flow charts. Concentrate Q&A Evidence offers expert advice on what to expect from your Evidence exam, how best to prepare and guidance on what examiners are really looking for. Written by experienced examiners, it provides clear commentary with each question and answer and bullet points and diagram answer plans plus tips to make your answer really stand out from the crowd and further reading suggestions at the end of every chapter. The book should help the reader identify typical law exam questions, structure a first-class answer, avoid common mistakes, show the examiner what the reader knows and find relevant further reading. After an introduction, the book covers burden and standard of proof, presumptions, competence and compellability, Special Measures Directions, character evidence, hearsay, confessions, the defendant’s silence, improperly obtained evidence, supporting evidence, identification expert opinion, issues in the course of trial, privilege, public policy and mixed questions. The final chapter gives guidance on assessed coursework. The book is suitable for undergraduate law students taking optional modules in Evidence.