It is the judge’s duty to hear and establish the facts of the case as well as to decide upon consideration of those facts whether there will be any remedy. Consideration of those facts will be supported by evidence so as to increase credibility. Evidence is a proof of facts, it is a way how to prove or disprove them. The rules on evidence must be distinguished some evidence is admissible in court and some evidence is inadmissible. If the evidence is inadmissible in court you will not be allowed to rely on it in your proceedings. The evidence which is admissible can have different weight depending on the type of evidence. Evidence includes witness evidence and evidence in the proceedings.
Generally evidence is admissible in court if it is relevant to the facts of the case and if it is not excluded by legislation or rule of law. Sometimes exclusionary rules apply which make the evidence be inadmissible due to public policy or some specified conditions or safeguards. Evidence will not be admissible if it is privileged.
Categories of evidence
If a person who is not an expert in a matter wants to give evidence in relation to the same and that evidence is merely an opinion on that matter the court has to be satisfied that that person is giving evidence of what he perceived. (e.g. opinion evidence on identity, age, affection between two people)
Evidence of character and previous convictions
Some individuals may have a bad character or have previous criminal convictions. These will be admissible in civil proceedings this may however give rise to presumption that he committed that offence.
Evidence which is considered privileged
Notwithstanding its relevance, if the evidence is privileged it will not be allowed to be disclosed and this will render it to be inadmissible.
Hearsay can be an oral or written statement in relation to a certain matter made by a witness at some occasion other than at court and this statement is now being claimed at the court in order to prove the truth of that certain matter. This can either be first hand or multiple. If a witness statement is filed in court and the witness does not come to the court to give his oral evidence, his witness statement will be considered to be first hand hearsay. If the facts of the witness statement were told to some other person that other second person’s oral evidence at court can be considered as first hand hearsay too (as he heard the first person to say it).
For more information on:
- Procedure at trial in relation to evidence documentation
- The court’s power
- Witnesses at trial
- Witnesses of fact
- Expert evidence