Law of Evidence

Topics: Evidence law, Testimony, Jury Pages: 9 (3389 words) Published: December 20, 2012
The Evidence Law deals with deciding which Evidence should be and which shouldn't be used in arriving at a decision by the Court and, sometimes, the weight that may be given to that evidence. The law of evidence is also concerned with the quantum (amount), quality, and type of proof needed to prevail in litigation. The quantum of evidence is the amount of evidence needed; the quality of proof is how reliable such evidence should be considered. This includes such concepts as hearsay (Hearsay, is the evidence of those who relate, not what they know themselves, but what they have heard from others.), authentication, admissibility, reasonable doubt, and clear and convincing evidence. There are several types of evidence, depending on the form or source. When a dispute, whether relating to a civil or criminal matter, reaches the court there will always be a number of issues which one party will have to prove in order to persuade the court to find in his or her favour. The law must ensure certain guidelines are set out in order to ensure that evidence presented to the court can be regarded as trustworthy. In Scots law the rule of corroboration in criminal cases, requires that there must be two pieces of evidence, to prove each essential fact. For example, DNA evidence could corroborate an eye witness testimony, proving person X committed a crime. This corroboration requirement no longer applies in civil cases, with the exception of some areas of family law, such as divorce, when another individual, not party to the marriage, must act as 'witness', however this is not referred to as corroboration. Most legal disputes which get to court involve a dispute about the facts. For instance, on a charge of murder the prosecution must prove that the victim was killed by the defendant who at the time had that mental state specified by the Criminal Law for murder. The facts in issue will be the actions and the mental state of the defendant. The court reconstructs events from the evidence presented by the parties to the court.  The rules of evidence restrict the evidence which may be presented  to the court and determine how that evidence is handled.

FACTS: SEC. 3, DEFINITION DEISTINCTION (RELEVANT FACTS/ FACTS IN ISSUE, EVIDENCE: ORAL AND DOCUMENTARY, PRESUMPTION, PROVING AND DISPROVING. The word fact derives from the Latin factum, and was first used in English with the same meaning: "a thing done or performed". A fact is something that has really occurred or is actually the case. Facts may be checked by reason, experiment, personal experience, or may be argued from authority. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability, that is whether it can be proven to correspond to experience. Scientific facts are verified by repeatable experiments. Legal facts are the information on which lawyers base their arguments, in order to win cases in courts of law. The evidence presented during a trial is designed to prove the facts supporting one's argument. Section 3 says that one fact is said to be relevant to another when the one is connected with the other in any of the ways referred to in the provisions of the Act relating to the relevancy of facts. Section 5to 55 deals with relevancy of facts. So, one fact will be relevant to another only when the one is connected with the other in any of the ways referred in Section 5 to 55 and if it not so connected, it cannot be a relevant fact. Relevant fact

Facts from which it is possible to infer the existence or non-existence of a fact which is in issue. Relevancy of facts forming part of same transaction.- Facts which, though not in issue, are so connected with a fact in issue as to form part of the same transaction, are relevant, whether they occurred at the same time and place or at different times and places. Illustrations

 (a) The question is, whether a given document is the will of A. The state of A’s property and of his family...
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