Rules and Principles of Evidence

Essay by leedixonUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, June 2004

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Evidence is based on common law principles and is concerned with proof to determine the facts in issue. Evidence consists of facts, testimony, documents and physical exhibits legally admissible to prove or disprove the matter under inquiry. Evidence is concerned with the kind of facts, which can be proved, and the manner in which they are proved in a court of law.



This is evidence which the court can experience for itself. Real evidence is used to refer to any form of evidence which at its production calls upon the court to reach conclusions on the basis of their own perceptions and not the reported observations of witnesses. For example if a witness testify's to the court they saw a blood stained knife then the court is asked to assume this statement is true. Yet is the knife is produced in court they are asked to draw their own conclusions about the truth.

Before real evidence is admissible to the court two foundations must be laid. The first being that the evidence must hold relevance to the case and secondly there must be a basis to finding the evidence and what it allegedly represents. This means the evidence must be supported by a witness testimony claiming their own personal knowledge of how the evidence was brought into being in the case. Without a supporting testimony to back up the evidence, the evidence will become inadmissible. Where a proper foundation is laid and the evidence is admissible the physical object can be admitted as an exhibit to the court. Where a jury is present they are at liberty to take the object into the jury room during deliberations.


In a lot of cases no direct evidence will...