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Cross & Tapper on Evidence

Cross & Tapper on Evidence (13th edn)

Roderick Munday
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date: 03 October 2022

p. 487X. Public policylocked

p. 487X. Public policylocked

  • Roderick MundayRoderick MundayReader Emeritus in Law, University of Cambridge, Fellow Emeritus of Peterhouse, Cambridge, Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn


This chapter argues that relevant evidence must be excluded on the ground of public policy on certain conditions. It explores two of these conditions: when the evidence concerns certain matters of public interest considered to be more important than the full disclosure of facts to the court, and when it relates to miscellaneous matters connected with litigation. The chapter also discusses evidence that has been illegally obtained, though this topic is not usually covered under the umbrella of public policy. Although there is no comparably strict general exclusionary rule, it is increasingly the case that the courts recognize the existence of an exclusionary discretion. This is governed in part by weighing the public interest in the conviction of guilty criminals against the public interest in the preservation of basic civil liberties.

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