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Evidence Notes

LPC Law Notes > Criminal 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.

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Evidence Admissibility of evidence

General rule

All evidence which is sufficiently relevant to the facts is admissible DPP v Kilbourne Relevant is if the evidence is logically probative or disprobative of some matter which requires proof. Relevant evidence is evidence which makes the matter more or less probable.

Exception 1 - Confessions


Confessions includes any statement wholly or partly adverse to the person who made is, whether made to a person in authority or not - s.82(1) PACE 1984


In any proceedings a confession made by the accused may be given in evidence against him so far as it is relevant - s.76(1) PACE 1984

Excluding confessions s.76(2) PACE

1) Oppression - s.76(2)(a) PACE

a) Includes 'torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the use or threat of violence - s.76(8)

b) Should be given its ordinary dictionary meaning
- R v Fulling

c) Requires impropriety on the part of the police

d) The act of oppression must have caused the confession to be made (i.e. "but for)

2) Unreliability- s.76(2)(b) PACE

a) If the confession was obtained as a consequence of things said or done which are likely to render the confession unreliable, the confession will be inadmissible

b) Things said or done by the police

1) Includes inducements to confess such as offers of bail to the defendant

2) No requirement for impropriety by the police - R v Fulling

3) However breaches of PACE can amount to things 'said or done'

The police not recording the confession meant it was inadmissible, as could not tell what questions were asked - R v Delaney

4) Has to be significant and substantial breaches of PACE

5) The act of oppression must have caused the confession to be made (i.e. "but for)

c) Things said or done by the defendant

Case law suggests this will not render the confession inadmissible

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