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University Degree: Law of Evidence

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  1. Evidence: Burden of proof

    As mentioned in the statement by Lord Sankey, this principle is subject to certain exceptions. The law sometimes places the burden of proving a defence on the defendant. This is known as a reverse proof burden and the accused must prove the particular defence or lose in respect of it. The two exceptions of insanity and any statutory exception were added to by the Court of Appeal's decision in Re Edwards [1974]. This was later put into law by virtue of section 101 of the Magistrates Court Act 1980 which provides: "Where the defendant to an information or complaint relies

    • Word count: 2329
  2. A critical review on Foakes v Beer: Reform of common law at the expense of equity, Alexander Trukhtanov, Law. Quarterly .Review. 2008, 124 (Jul), 364-368

    The aim of the article criticises the judgments in Foakes v Beer and whether the decision in Collier 5 could contemplate giving equitable relief as such common law defence. This essay will examine opinion hostile to the doctrine of consideration and will consider its possible abolition. Equally, this essay will consider the refinement of many of its traditional principles with a view to recommending its preservation as an essential element of contract. In summary, the author conducted a review on the influence on the decisions and judgements between the cases of foakes and collier.

    • Word count: 2561
  3. "THE CONCEPT OF RELEVANCE IN THE LAW OF EVIDENCE IS NOT AS STRAIGHTFORWAD AS IT APPEARS TO BE." DISCUSS

    Notwithstanding, relevance is often regarded as variable, just as evidence can be regarded as more or less relevant. Zuckerman describes relevance as "having a contextual and dynamic nature", and the relevance of one fact to another can be judged on its own or in connection with other facts (Zuckerman, p46). This seems to relate more to the cogency of the evidence, given its relevance, but it secures a place in the exposition of the subject because the qualification of sufficiency relates to it.

    • Word count: 2141
  4. The impact of HRA on burden of proof and bad character

    Sexual Offences Act 19564, s.2(2) Homcide Act5 and s.74(2) Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act 19846. Statutes may also cast the burden of proof on the accused by necessary implication as enshrined in the leading case of R v Turner.7 This branch of the law of evidence has undergone considerable change in the wake of the passage of the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998. Since s.3 HRA 19988 requires courts to interpret English legislation so far as possible in a manner compatible with the Convention, it immediately poses the question as to whether it is ever permissible for the law to cast the legal burden of proof on the

    • Word count: 2638
  5. Theories , Punishment and Law

    Individuals will be assessed against the national DSPD criteria only if they have a history of violent or sexual behaviour, and if there is evidence to suggest the person has severe personality disorder. Only people who have committed a crime will be detained in prison and those detained in hospital will have rights and safeguards under the Mental Health Act 1983. The DSPD programme works with the most difficult and dangerous persons in society, and it faces a range of challenges in terms of assessment, treatment and management of this group, it also aims to deliver an effective service and the long-term prospects of reducing re-offending.

    • Word count: 2074
  6. Law of Evidence

    It is then up to the party trying the fact i.e. judge or jury to decide if the legal burden is discharged. The evidential burden is defined as merely a burden to produce evidence. It is the burden of adducing evidence or raising an arguable case. At the start of a trial, the prosecution has the evidential burden to produce evidence on every element of the offence charged. If the prosecution cannot raise a 'prima facie' (by first instance)

    • Word count: 2402
  7. LAW OF EVIDENCE

    It has long been acknowledged that the law in this area is highly unsatisfactory in its complexity and uncertainty. The Criminal Law Revision Committee in 1972, and the Runciman Royal Commission in 1973 recommended continuation of the scheme of general exclusion, but subject to slightly different exceptions, the latter also recommending that the Law Commission should consider it. In 1994 the Law Commission was asked to do so; it produced a consultation paper in 1996 prior to publishing its final report in 2001 mentioned above.

    • Word count: 2429
  8. It is time the rule against hearsay evidence in criminal proceedings was abolished and brought into line with the rule in civil proceedings. Discuss.

    However the hearsay rule in operation is not quite as simple as it first seems. There is a distinction made between original evidence and hearsay evidence. Whether a matter is hearsay, and inadmissible or not depends on the purpose the evidence is produced for. For example, witness A stating "I saw X stab Y" would be original evidence. Witness B stating "I saw A crying because she said she saw X stab Y" would be inadmissible hearsay if its purpose was to prove X as a murderer.

    • Word count: 2414

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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