Appendix C: Law Commission
|As a general rule, hearsay should remain inadmissible.|
|To this general rule there should be certain categories of automatic exception,
subject to the existing statutory and common law discretions to exclude
prosecution evidence. Where the evidence falls within one of these categories:|
|its admissibility should not depend on whether it is documentary or oral;|
|it should not be admissible unless it is first-hand hearsay;|
|it should not be admissible unless the witness is identified to the
satisfaction of the court; and|
|it should not be admissible as evidence of any fact of which the witness's
oral evidence would not have been admissible.|
|3. The categories of automatic exception should be as follows:|
|where the witness is dead, or too ill to attend court;|
|where such steps have been taken as are reasonably practicable to secure
his or her attendance, but without success; and|
|(i) he or she is outside the United Kingdom, or|
|(ii) he or she cannot be found;|
|where the witness refuses to give (or to continue giving) evidence although
physically present in court.|
|Subject to proposal 2 above, hearsay evidence falling within one of these
categories should be automatically admissible.|
|4. None of these categories of exception should permit a party to adduce a
statement where that party is responsible for the fact that the witness cannot or
will not give oral evidence.|
|5. The following statutory exceptions should be preserved (or re-enacted) with
|section 24 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988;|
|section 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967;|
|sections 3 and 4 of the Bankers' Books Evidence Act 1879;|
|section 46(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1972; and|
|paragraphs 1 and 1A of Schedule 2 to the Criminal Appeal Act 1968.|
|6. Confessions should continue to be admissible against their makers, subject to
section 76 of PACE and the existing discretions to exclude prosecution evidence.|
|7. There should be a further limited exception (the 'safety valve' provision) to the|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Hearsay and Confrontation in Criminal Trials.
Contributors: Andrew L.-T. Choo - Author.
Publisher: Oxford University.
Place of publication: Oxford.
Publication year: 1996.
Page number: 214.
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