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Aspects of the Hearsay Evidence Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Sep 21st, 2022

The hearsay evidence is one of the most ambiguous points in the juridical system. On the one hand, this type of evidence is evidently misleading, which, under certain conditions, can have a negative effect on the fairness of the proceedings. On the other hand, the hearsay evidence still serves to be an extra source of data and can be a critical part of the fact-finding process. In the meantime, as long as there are some restrictions on the hearsay admission, the question arises if these limitations can be assistive in ensuring the fairness of proceedings.

First and foremost, it is critical to note that experts do not have any illusions regarding the fairness of the hearsay evidence. Thus, for instance, there is an opinion that the only valid evidence that should have any impact on the course of proceedings is the direct one that can be, in its turn, supported by the relevant hearsay (Taheri 2011). Otherwise stated, the implemented admission restriction is mainly aimed at preventing proceedings from relying solely on the unreliable evidence that used to be quite a common case until the restrictions were employed.

Meanwhile, it would be irrational to exclude the hearsay evidence from the juridical practice completely. Thence, Spencer notes that the most difficult part resides in defining the very “limited circumstance” under which the hearsay evidence should be admitted. The author assumes that there is no reason for strict limitations as long as the information provided in a hearsay manner might serve to be valuable for juridical decision-making (Spencer 2014). Moreover, some experts believe that hearsay evidence is absolutely essential for such types of proceeding as criminal. They assume that it is necessary to ensure the relevant safeguards rather than reject the hearsay evidence (Smith 2011).

In spite of the fact that the hearsay evidence is the one that is not fully valid as it is provided by the second party, it should still be noted that it might have a powerful impact on the juridical process. Thus, the specific details provided in the hearsay evidence might play a critical role in shaping the decision-makers’ opinion. In this case, the verdict becomes more subjective.

However, the question, consequently, arises regarding the judges’ competence and proficiency presuming that they are inclined to bring in subjective verdicts. From this perspective, the fairness of proceedings seems to be more dependable upon the professional standards that the executives stick to rather than the admission or the non-admission of the hearsay evidence. Thence, some specialists are inclined to believe that a high-quality judge is capable of distinguishing between the relevant and the misleading hearsay evidence so that his or her decision is carried out on the basis of complex analysis (Park 2015). In other words, the human factor is a more powerful determinant of the proceedings’ fairness than the type of evidence admitted to the consideration. In addition, in some cases, the exclusion of the hearsay evidence is ultimately irrational – for example, in those situations when the first party is physically unable to give evidence (Durston 2011).

The analysis provided above shows that no unambiguous approach to this matter seems to be possible. Every particular case should be examined separately in order to ensure the relevant fairness of proceedings. Furthermore, fairness is largely determined by the competence of the judge that is responsible for distinguishing relevant and non-relevant evidence.

Reference List

Durston, G 2011, Evidence: Text & Materials, OUP Oxford, New York, New York.

Park, RC 2015, , Web.

Smith, H 2011, , Lexology, Web.

Spencer, JR 2014, Hearsay Evidence in Criminal Proceedings, Bloomsbury Publishing, New York, New York.

Taheri, E 2011, Hearsay: To admit or not to admit? Web.

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