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The standard definition of hearsay as found in the widely used Black's Law Dictionary.

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Introduction

The standard definition of hearsay as found in the widely used Black's Law Dictionary1: "A statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted. Hearsay evidence is testimony in court of a statement made out of court, the statement being offered as an assertion to show the truth of the matter therein, and thus resting for its value upon the credibility of the out of court asserter. Evidence not proceeding from the personal knowledge of the witness, but from the mere repetition of what he has heard others say" However as the definition above also states, there are numerous exceptions to the hearsay rule. An example is when the original declarant is not available and the statement contains indicia of reliability. What is important is that the use of an out of court statement as an assertion of the truth of the content of that out of court statement, as the definition above reads, " to show the truth of matters asserted therein, and thus resting for its value upon the credibility of the out of court asserter". The concern of the hearsay rule is that matters of fact asserted by an individual rely for their truth in part upon the credibility of the individual asserting them. ...read more.

Middle

The respondents were wholly successful in their application to dismiss the principal application and were prima facie entitled to an order for cost. In this case there objewction was successful because the could would not allow the speech and said that indeed that it was hearsay, since it was an out of court statement6. As it has been stated above there are respites available that can provide admissibility to the general principal of hearsay. One such example is the case of Subraniam V. Public Prosecutor7. In this case the accused was charged with unlawful possession of ammunition under emergency regulation. It was a defence to have a lawful excuse for possession and the accused sought out to give evidence that he was captured by terrorist, however the trial judge ruled that he could not state that in evidence what the terrorist had said to him as that would amount to hearsay. However the Privy Council quashed the conviction on the following basis, that the evidence of a statement made to a witness by a person who is himself not called a witness may or may not be hearsay. It is hearsay and inadmissible when the object of the evidence is to establish the truth of what is contained in the statement. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Malaysia the Malaysian government have made amendments to the Malaysian Evidence Act which they made in 1993 have now made it possible for a party wishing to adduce evidence in the form of inter alia electronic data stored in a computer, CD-Rom, magnetic diskette or documents produced by a computer, to do so with fewer obstacles. The Evidence Act now also provides that in any criminal proceedings a computer generated document of any statement contained in such document is admissible in evidence of any fact stated therein. It is because of this that to considerable extent particularly in civil case these problems have been resolved by statutory in intervention in the form of The Criminal Justice Act 1988 and the Civil Evidence Act 199510. These are the certain extent to which the rule of hearsay can be admissible in court as evidence. 1 5th Edition. 2 For more on Malaysian law view appendix 1. p.1 3 (1967) 52 Cr App R 80. 4 Jones V. Metcalfe [1967] 3 All ER 205 & Cattermole V. Millar [1978] RTR 258. 5 [2001] FMCA 103. 6 Travers V. State of New South Wales [2000] FCA 1565, & Charles V. Fuji Xerox Australia pty Ltd [2000] FCA 1521. 7 [1956] 1 WLR 965. 8 [1965] AC 1001. 9 Please look at the Statutory Instrument 1990 No. 143 in appendix 2 for the admissibility of hearsay. 10 Refer to appendix 3. ...read more.

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