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Evidence Notes

LPC Law Notes > Civil Litigation Notes

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A more recent version of these Evidence notes – written by Cambridge And Oxilp And College Of Law students – is available here.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Civil Litigation Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:


1) Admissibility of evidence

General rule

All evidence that is relevant to the facts is admissible

Certain evidence has special rules

Opinion evidence

General rule

Opinion evidence of witnesses is not admissible as they are normally confined to stating the facts


Perceived facts

Where opinion is shorthand for facts, such as 'the car was driving fast', the evidence is admissible - s.3(2) CEA

Expert opinion

A suitably qualified and experienced expert can given opinion evidence - s.3(1) CEA (Civil Evidence Act 1995)

Hearsay evidence


1) A written or oral statement

2) Made on a previous occasion (out of court)

3) Which is being adduced in court to show that the statement is true

General rule

Hearsay evidence, whether indirect oral or written evidence, is admissible. - s.1 CEA

Service of notice of intention to rely on hearsay evidence

Must give notice to the other side that you intend to rely on hearsay evidence - s.2 CEA

In what form is notice given

1) If the evidence is in a witness statement of a person not being called to give oral evidence, the other side should be informed that the witness will not be giving evidence at trial and why - CPR 33.2(2)

2) If the evidence is to be given orally at trial containing hearsay, notice must be given to the other party identifying the hearsay, and stating why the original witness will not be called - CPR 33.2(3)

What factors will be taken into account when deciding the weighting to be given to the hearsay evidence?
s.4 CEA

How must this notice be given?

For both scenario, notice is given by serving the witness statement itself with the witness highlighting where there is hearsay

What if notice is not given?

The evidence is not rendered inadmissible, but it has an effect on the weight the court will attach to the evidence

1) Whether it would have been reasonable and practicable to have produced the maker of the original statement as a witness

2) Whether the original statement was made contemporaneously with the occurred or existence of the matter stated

3) Whether the evidence involves multiple hearsay

4) Whether any person involved had any motive to conceal or misrepresent

5) Whether the original statement was an edited account or was made in collaboration with another or for a particular purpose

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