UNIT 2: DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

Document definition

1. Any written thing that can be evidence 2. Any book, map, drawing or photography ( visual documents) 3. Device that information can be recorded or stored ( tech storage)

What is the difference between documentary evidence and real evidence?

The purpose that it is used for - An item becomes documentary evidence when it is the content of the document that is used for evidence - An item is real evidence when the item itself is what is used as evidence in the court

What are the basic rules governing the admissibility of documentary evidence?

1. The original document needs to be produced 2. The document has to be authenticated 3, the general rules of evidence such as relevance needs to be taken into account

Why should a party produce the original document?

As a means to prevent falsification of the document and to prevent Error

WELZ V HALL (best evidence rule)

1. Best evidence rule views that the original document is the best evidence for its content because it was the first one 2. This rule only applies to documents and when there is a dispute about the content of the document ( thus documentary evidence)

Can a document have more than one original?

Yes, in instances such as carbon copies and duplicate original contracts signed there may be more than one original

What is the general rule regarding secondary evidence?

Secondary evidence cannot be used to prove the content of the documents (documentary evidence) unless used in certain exceptions. 1. Such as using it to prove other things than the content of the document 2. If there is no other way of proving the document 3. To prove the existence of the relationship

What are the exception to when secondary evidence can be used to prove the content of a document?⭐️

1. If the original has been destroyed or after a diligent search it cannot be found ( but will need to show the court that a diligent search was done) 2. If it is permitted by statue3. If producing the original is impossible ( writings in a building) 4. If the original is in then possession of the opposing or third part - must prove that a formal notice was given to the party to produce said document - in admitting a subpoenas served to produce which they didn't - and court cannot force cause it's outside their jurisdiction

Section 18 (1) of CPEA ⭐️ when is secondary evidence permitted by statute?

Secondary evidence is permitted when 1. When it is a public document 2. Signed by a public official 3. And in which the original document is in the custody of the public official

What are the characteristics of a public document?⭐️

As per the common law they are as follows ( also seen in section 233 of CPA): 1. Must be made by a public official 2. In line with public duty 3. Intended for public use 4. That the public has the right to access E.g birth certificate

How can authenticity be established?

1. By calling the person who signed or wrote the document 2. Calling the witness who saw the document being signed or written 3. Calling the person who has lawful custody of the document 4. Getting someone that can identify the writing 5. Call the persons who found it in oops possession