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University Degree: Law of Evidence

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  1. How reliable is Eyewitness Testimony?

    This study provides evidence that the language used in a question can distort recall. When questioned later about the amount of glass at the scene more of the participants that had been in the 'smashed' condition reported seeing glass than the participants in the 'hit' condition, when actually there was none. Showing that information given after the event can alter a witness memory of the original event. Loftus and Zanni (1974) as cited in Eysenck and Keane (2000) found that even trivial differences in the way a question is asked can create false memories.

    • Word count: 1982
  2. Analysis of Fingerprint Evidence using Digital Imaging Techniques.

    The CCD acts like a bucket holding the electrons. The CCD's can be cascaded into arrays in which the electrons can be efficiently moved from one cell to another over long distances to a final readout destination. The reading, which is taken from each array, is directly proportional to the light intensity at that point in the captured image. So just as in conventional photography where silver halide crystals record the level of light intensity, the photo diode found in a digital system does exactly the same job.

    • Word count: 1470
  3. The standard definition of hearsay as found in the widely used Black's Law Dictionary.

    The hearsay rule generally disallows the use of out of court statements as evidence of the truth of the matters asserted in that statement. However in countries like Malaysia, the parliament has come up with a regulation to allow hearsay as evidence. That regulation is the Esential (Security Cases) Regulations (ESCAR) Offences. The Attorney General in Malaysia can designate any offences as an ESCAR prosecution. This procedure directly indicts the accused to trial by the High Court Justice without a jury. Witnesses need not identify themselves when they testify. Hearsay is admissible and giving the same weight as direct evidence.

    • Word count: 1305
  4. 'The hearsay rule ought to be abolished. Its exceptions are complex and lead to the arbitrary exclusion of cogent evidence' - Discuss.

    The rule thus obliges the prosecution to call X as a witness to give direct evidence that she saw D take the book.2 Reasons in favour of Hearsay rules Why do we need a rule that prevents or restricts evidence being given by anyone? * Ambiguity of Narration Language is ambiguous and several meanings can often be ascribed to the same word. It may be that only the maker of the statement knows what he meant when he used the particular words in question.

    • Word count: 1874

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • The common law rule against hearsay evidence had a deserved reputation for being technical and difficult. To what extent has the new statutory schemes rectified this? Discuss.

    "Conclusion With the essay discussed above, it has been shown that the enactment of CJA do in fact rectified most of the flawed area of the common law rules of hearsay. However, it is unfortunate that some problems have on the other hand emerged from the CJA itself. The res gestae exceptions formulated under the new law seemed to have prevented the court from exercising their power in examining the reliability of evidence and the function of inclusionary discretion makes other provisions appear to be unnecessary."

  • When psychologists act as expert witnesses a number of issues are raised surrounding the admissibility of their evidence - Discuss these issues with reference to eyewitness testimony and domestic violence.

    "In conclusion, research on the psychological testimony began almost 100 years ago. In the accumulated research the eyewitness testimony can be far from perfect, and there are many factors that affect eyewitness reports. The use of expert psychological testimony has increased in recent years with a concomitant increase in the range of cases. The psychologists allowed to give expert testimony are a very complex question because the issues of admissibility of psychological evidence are still problematic in some cases. From the limitation as shown before, the main problems influenced the admissibility of expert witness in court are the legal controversy, "battle of the experts" and "hired guns". In the future perspective, more realistic research is needed, and research should explore age differences in eyewitness testimony, the testimony of crime victims and techniques to improve the accuracy of testimony. Nevertheless, in some cases it can provide valuable information to the courts."

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