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Preliminary Evidential Matters Notes

BPTC Law Notes > Criminal Evidence Notes

This is an extract of our Preliminary Evidential Matters document, which we sell as part of our Criminal Evidence Notes collection written by the top tier of City Law School students.

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Syllabus 10: Preliminary Evidential Matters General Principles of Evidence in Criminal Cases A. Facts in Issue Facts that remain contentious, and must be (dis)proven normally by the prosecution (exceptionally by D)
- Thus, nature of the facts in issue is determined by the legal ingredients of the offence/defence Sims [1946] KB 531, per Lord Goddard CJ at p. 539: '[W]henever there is a plea of not guilty, everything is in issue and the prosecution have to prove the whole of their case...' Criminal Justice Act 1967, s.10: any fact formally admitted under s.10 ceases to be in issue

B.Formal Admissions Governed by Criminal Justice Act 1967, s 10
- CrimPR, rr. 37.6 (magistrates' court) and 38.13 (Crown Court): where fact is formally admitted, a written record of the admission must be made, unless court directs otherwise Pittard [2006] EWCA Crim 2028: Written admissions must ordinarily be put before the jury so long as they are relevant and do not contain material that should not go to the jury
- s.10(2)(b) and (d), and Lewis [1989] Crim LR 61: formal admission may be made in court orally Key principle: clarity on what has been admitted
- eg. Lewis (1971) 55 Cr App R 386: even though opposing counsel formally admitted to all the facts in P's opening speech, court added that such a procedure should be adopted only rarely and with caution, because jurors, when considering the opening speech, might find it difficult to distinguish between law, mixed fact and law, and comment s.10(1): a formal admission may be made of 'any fact of which oral evidence may be given in any criminal proceedings'
- s.10 cannot be used to admit what would otherwise fall to be excluded, eg. hearsay
- Naylor [2010] EWCA Crim 1188: expert opinion is technically not a fact, and therefore cannot be admitted through s.10

* However, a party who accepts another party's expert's conclusions may admit them as fact under s. 10 (CrimPR, r. 33.3) Formal admissions should not be made lightly
- Kolton [2000] Crim LR 761: can only be withdrawn under s.10(4) if there exists cogent evidence from the accused and those advising him that the admissions were made by reason of mistake or misunderstanding

C.Relevance Cardinal rule of evidence: all evidence which is sufficiently relevant to the facts in issue is admissible
- Exception: where no reasonable jury, properly directed as to its defects, could place any weight on it (Robinson [2006] 1 Cr App R 221, a case concerning voice recognition evidence)

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