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Book

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

Adrian Keane and Paul McKeown

The Modern Law of Evidence is a comprehensive analysis of the law of criminal and civil evidence and the theory behind the law. It identifies all the key issues, emphasizes recent developments and insights from the academic literature, and makes suggestions for further reading. The work begins with a definition of evidence and the law of evidence and an outline of its development to date. It then describes and analyses the key concepts, such as the facts open to proof, the forms that evidence can take, relevance, admissibility, weight, and discretion. It then proceeds to cover in a logical sequence all aspects of the subject: the burden and standard of proof, proof of facts without evidence, documentary and real evidence, witnesses, examination-in-chief, cross-examination and re-examination, corroboration and care warnings, visual and voice identification, evidence obtained by illegal or unfair means, hearsay, confessions, adverse inferences from an accused’s silence, evidence of good and bad character, opinion evidence, public policy, privilege, and the admissibility of previous verdicts.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Cover Cross & Tapper on Evidence

VI. The course of evidence  

This chapter concerns the principal rules governing examination in-chief, cross-examination, and re-examination of witnesses. Such an account is not entirely satisfactory because it is concerned with regulations that are either matters of common knowledge or else can be thoroughly mastered only by experience. However, the rules with which it deals have been highly characteristic of the English law of evidence. The elucidation of facts by means of questions put by parties or their representatives to witnesses mainly summoned by them has been an essential feature of the English ‘adversarial’ or ‘accusatorial’ system of justice. The chapter argues that not only is an appreciation of this procedure desirable for its own sake, but it is necessary for a proper understanding of such matters as the law concerning the admissibility of the convictions, character, and credibility of parties and witnesses.

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Cover Cross & Tapper on Evidence

VII. Character in general  

This chapter examines the evidence of the character of parties, witnesses, and third parties. Evidence of character has never been a model of coherence or clarity either at common law or under statute. It is complex, both in the connotation and means of proof of the concept of character, and in the variety of contexts in which it arises. The concept embraces both disposition, commonly described as propensity, to act in a relevant way, and sometimes the means of proof of such relevant disposition, either through reputation, the expressed belief of others of the subject's disposition, or of acts of the subject from which such disposition may be inferred. It may be relevant in any form of proceedings, and at any stage of a trial.

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Cover Murphy on Evidence

9. Corroboration and suspect witness warnings  

This chapter discusses the corroboration rule and the practice of suspect witness warnings. It covers the meaning and function of corroboration; the fact that there is no general requirement for corroboration at common law and that a conviction or judgment may be based on the evidence of a single witness; where corroboration is required as a matter of law; the abolition of the rule of practice requiring the judge to direct the jury to exercise caution before convicting in the absence of corroboration; the development of suspect witness warnings; cases in which a suspect witness warning is required; and suspect witness warnings and confirming evidence.

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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.