Direct evidence refers to the witness testimony based on his or her perception by his or her senses such as hearing or sight of the facts in issue.
However, direct evidence, may also include presentation of things or documents to the tribunal of fact.
The tribunal of fact may be asked to act on its own perception of the quality and nature of the things or document.
Direct evidence especially the one related to the testimony of the witness in relation to the facts in issue may lead to issue regarding the credibility and reliability of the witness.
The issue of relevance is not importance in this case.
What is evidentiary facts ?
Evidentiary facts are known as facts relevant to the facts in issue.
Evidentiary facts are related to the logical inference to proof the facts in issue.
Evidentiary facts will prove the facts in issue.
Evidentiary facts are the second category of the objects of proof.
Evidentiary facts are referred to 'factum probandum' or a fact offered to prove another fact.
The common example of evidentiary fact include the absence or presence of the motive on the part of the defendant who committed the offence.
Motive is not an element of the offence. Motive is considered to provide explanation or sense of reasons for criminal activity.
Despite being not part of the elements of the offence, motive is important in raising the probability of the fact that the defendant did commit the offence.
Evidentiary facts may be proved by evidence.
In cases where the evidentiary fact are not judicial noticed or formally admitted.
The evidence may include, real evidence, documentary evidence and testimony evidence.
If for example, the existence of the defendant's alleged motive were disputed, the evidentiary facts must be suggestive of the present of the motive.
As a result, evidentiary facts may stand as an object of proof and means of proving the fact in issue.
Facts in Issue
Facts in issue are also called material facts or ' facta probanda' the latin term.
The facts in issue are essential facts which parties need to prove.
In civil cases, the facts in issue comprise the cause of action.
For instance, the civil claims may include claiming for damages in term of injustice caused by defendant's negligence.
The facts in issue will focus on the questions of law or questions of fact.
In term of questions of law, it includes for instance the defendant duty of care to the claimant where the parties need to bring agreement.
The issue whether the defendant breach the duty of care is considered a question of fact.
In this case, by the rules of court, it is required for the claimant to specify the particulars of the claim of the precise respect where the negligence can be linked to the defendant.
Any formally denial of negligence by the defendant on the ground of defence, will cause the claimant to adduce evidence to prove at least one of the alleged particulars of negligence.
Based on what is admitted and denied by the defendant in the defence, the fact that the defendant's negligence caused injury to the claimant need to be proved by the claimant as a fact.
The claimant also need to prove the nature of injuries, the extent of injuries and any amount of special damages.
The defendant would need to adduce the evidence to prove the issue if the defendant alleged contributory negligence is denied by the claimant.
In criminal cases, the facts in issues are facts which constitute the offence charged in a criminal cases and also facts which the defendant must prove to establish the defence.
In civil or criminal cases, the facts in issue are considered by referring to the substantive law and the statement of the case which includes the indictment, written charges or information in the criminal proceeding.
In civil cases, the substantive law will determine the elements of the cause of action and classification of the issues into issue of law.
The statements of case will determine the type of questions of fact which are actually in dispute.
In criminal cases, the substantive law will determine the elements of the offence charged and the defence of the accused.
The indictment, written charges and information will provide allegations of fact which constitute the offence.
Previously, defendant had no obligation to admit or to deny the allegation of prosecution.
Currently, there is a statutory obligation based on s5 of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 which allows the defendant to provide the defence statement in specific condition which indicates the nature of defence, postulating matters of fact where the defendant takes issue with the prosecution and reason why.
During trial, the defendant may plead guilty or not guilty of charges.
If there is a plea of not guilty, everything will be in issue and it will be the task of the prosecution to prove the whole of their case, which include the identification of the accused, the nature of the accused' act and the intention and knowledge of the accused.
The prosecution must also proved the non existence of the defence if there is a possibility of evidence sufficiency enough to raise the existence.
For instance, in a murder case, the defendant plead not guilty.
Then, the prosecution, must prove that it was the accused who killed the victim unlawfully ( actus reus) with the intention and necessary mind to do so ( mens rea).
In the case of murder, it is the malice aforethought which is the intention to kill or cause serious harm which need to be considered.
Despite, the present of evidence that the offence took place as acting lawful in self defence.
Despite, the present of evidence that the defence of lawful self defence has been disclosed.
It is the job of the prosecution to rebut the lawful defence which has been disclosed.
Objects of Proof
In general objects of proof may refer to facts in legal proceedings where evidence can be properly adduced.
The objects of proof may include facts in issue and evidentiary facts.
Facts in issue are known as material facts while evidentiary facts are known as facts relevant to the facts in issue.
Reliability is also considered as part of the elements which are used in determining the weight of the evidence by the fact finders.
Reliability will take the step further from credibility.
Reliability will focus on the accuracy of the truthful statement made by the witness. Honest and sincere witness may give an inaccurate evidence / mistaken evidence.
The mistaken evidence may relate for instance due to poor eyesight.
Credibility is used as a part of the elements which are considered in determining the weight of the evidence by the fact finders.
Credibility focuses on the testimony of the witness.
Credibility will focus on the extent to which the statement made by the witness can be accepted as a truthful evidence based on the sincere and honest testimony.
Weight of Evidence
The weight of evidence is the strength of the evidence intended to prove the facts or fact in issue.
In civil cases, the trial judge will deal with the issue of facts and law.
in criminal cases, the questions of fact depend on the type of cases being tried either it is tried summarily or on indictment.
In any cases tried on indictment, the jury will be the tribunal of fact.The tribunal of fact is also known as fact finder.
In any cases tried summarily, the magistrate will deal with the questions of fact and law.
The legal clerk will provide guidance and support to the lay magistrate in relation to the matter related to the questions of law
Prejudicial effect is the potential of the evidence to cause the court to be prejudiced against the accused. As a result, the court will make the finding of fact against the accused for reason not associated with true probative value of the evidence.
The probative value linked to the weight of the evidence.
Besides exclusionary rules, there are also discretionary discretion.
In terms of exclusionary discretion, the trial judges in criminal trial may exclude evidence from the prosecution which is relevant and admissible ( with the condition that it is not excluded by the exclusionary rule).
The discretion is conferred on the judge by s78 of the PACE Act 1984 and common law.
The purpose of the statutory discretion by s78 of the PACE Act 1984 is to prevent any admission of the relevant evidence from affecting adversely the fairness of the proceeding.
The purpose of the common law discretion is to prevent the prejudicial consequences which outweigh the probative value. As a result, the evidence is excluded.
The discretion to exclude evidence is applicable only to particular circumstances.
Admissibility is one of the concept of evidence.
Admissibility is the questions of law which is decide by the judges.
Admissible evidence means that the evidence can be properly admitted / received by the court in term of law.
Before establishing admissibility, the evidence must be relevant.
Irrelevant evidence is associated with inadmissible evidence.
As as conclusion, evidence must be relevant to be admissible.
However, certain rules of law of evidence will impose prohibition / restriction to the reception of certain type of evidence which is relevant. This action falls under the exclusionary rules.
Exclusionary rules focus on the attempt made to exclude evidence based on the court consideration.
For instance, in the case of rule against hearsay.
In this case, the court prohibit the reception of evidence based on the statement made by another person on another occasion and the purpose of adducing such evidence is to persuade the court to accept the truth of the statement made.
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