• Chapter 1: Chapter 1: Hearsay Evidence

    • 55. Admissibility of hearsay evidence

      (1) Evidence shall not be excluded on the ground that it is hearsay.
      (2) In this Part —
      (a) "hearsay" means a written or oral statement made otherwise than by a witness giving his own first-hand evidence in proceedings, which is tendered as evidence of the matters stated and which is relied on in Court to prove the truth of the matters stated; and
      (b) references to hearsay include hearsay of whatever degree.
      (3) Nothing in this Part affects the admissibility of evidence which would be admissible apart from this section.
      (4) The provisions of sections 56 to 60 (safeguards and supplementary provisions relating to hearsay evidence) do not apply in relation to hearsay evidence which would be admissible apart from this section, notwithstanding that it may also be admissible by virtue of this section.

    • 56. Notice of proposal to adduce hearsay evidence

      (1) A party proposing to adduce hearsay evidence in proceedings shall, subject to the following provisions of this section, give to the other party or parties to the proceedings —
      (a) such notice (if any) of that fact; and
      (b) on request, such particulars of or relating to the evidence,
      as is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances for the purpose of enabling him or them to deal with any matters arising from its being hearsay.
      (2) Provision may be made by court procedure rules —
      (a) specifying classes of proceedings or evidence in relation to which subsection (1) does not apply;
      (b) as to the manner in which (including the time within which) the duties imposed by that subsection are to be complied with in the cases where it does apply.
      (3) Subsection (1) may also be excluded by agreement of the parties and compliance with the duty to give notice may in any case be waived by the person to whom notice is required to be given.
      (4) A failure to comply with subsection (1), or with court procedure rules under subsection (2)(b), does not affect the admissibility of the evidence but may be taken into account by the Court —
      (a) in considering the exercise of its powers with respect to the course of proceedings and costs; and
      (b) as a matter adversely affecting the weight to be given to the evidence in accordance with section 58.

    • 57. Power to call witness for cross-examination on hearsay evidence

      Court procedure rules may provide that where a party to proceedings adduces hearsay evidence of a statement made by a person and does not call that person as a witness, any other party to the proceedings may, with the leave of the Court, call that person as a witness and cross-examine him on the statement as if he had been called by the first-mentioned party and as if the hearsay statement were his evidence-in-chief.

    • 58. Considerations relevant to weighing of hearsay evidence

      (1) In estimating the weight (if any) to be given to hearsay evidence in proceedings the Court shall have regard to any circumstances from which any inference can reasonably be drawn as to the reliability or otherwise of the evidence.
      (2) Regard may be had, in particular, to the following —
      (a) whether it would have been reasonable and practicable for the party adducing the evidence to have produced the maker of the original statement as a witness;
      (b) whether the original statement was made contemporaneously with the occurrence or existence of the matters stated;
      (c) whether the evidence involves multiple hearsay;
      (d) whether any person involved had any motive to conceal or misrepresent matters;
      (e) whether the original statement was an edited account, or was made in collaboration with another person or for a particular purpose;
      (f) whether the circumstances in which evidence is adduced as hearsay are such as to suggest an attempt to prevent the proper evaluation of its weight.

    • 59. Competence and credibility

      (1) Hearsay evidence shall not be admitted in proceedings if or to the extent that it is shown to consist of, or be proved by means of, a statement made by a person who at the time he made the statement was not competent as a witness.

      For this purpose "not competent as a witness" means suffering from such mental or physical infirmity, or lack of understanding, as would render a person incompetent as a witness in proceedings.
      (2) Where in proceedings hearsay evidence is adduced and the maker of the original statement, or of any statement relied upon to prove another statement, is not called as a witness —
      (a) evidence which, if he had been so called, would be admissible for the purpose of attacking or supporting his credibility as a witness is admissible for that purpose in the proceedings; and
      (b) evidence tending to prove that, whether before or after he made the statement, he made any other statement inconsistent with it is admissible for the purpose of showing that he had contradicted himself,
      provided that evidence may not be given of any matter of which, if he had been called as a witness and had denied that matter in cross-examination, evidence could not have been adduced by the cross-examining party.

    • 60. Previous statements of witnesses

      (1) The provisions of this Part as to hearsay evidence in proceedings apply equally (but with any necessary modifications) in relation to a previous statement made by a person called as a witness in the proceedings.
      (2) A party who has called or intends to call a person as a witness in proceedings may not in those proceedings adduce evidence of a previous statement made by that person, except —
      (a) with the leave of the Court; or
      (b) for the purpose of rebutting a suggestion that his evidence has been fabricated.
      This shall not be construed as preventing a witness statement (that is, a written statement of oral evidence which a party to the proceedings intends to lead) from being adopted by a witness in giving evidence or treated as his evidence.
      (3) Where subsections (4), (5) or (6) apply, these Regulations do not authorise the adducing of evidence of a previous inconsistent or contradictory statement otherwise than in accordance with those subsections. This does not alter any provision made by court procedure rules under section 57 above (power to call witness for cross-examination on hearsay evidence).
      (4) A party who has called, or intends to call, a person as a witness in proceedings —
      (a) may not discredit him by general evidence of the witness' bad character; but
      (b) may, if in the Court's opinion the witness shall, or is likely to, be hostile —
      (i) contradict him by other evidence; or
      (ii) with the leave of the Court, prove that the witness has previously made a statement which is inconsistent with his present testimony.
      Before a party can give proof pursuant to sub-paragraph (b)(ii) —
      (c) the circumstances of the supposed statement, sufficient to identify the particular occasion, must be mentioned to the witness; and
      (d) the witness must be asked whether or not he made the statement.
      (5) If a witness, upon cross-examination as to a previous statement made by him relative to the subject matter of the proceedings, and inconsistent with his present testimony, does not distinctly admit that he has made such statement, proof made be given that he did in fact make it; but before such proof can be given —
      (a) the circumstances of the supposed statement, sufficient to identify the particular occasion, must be mentioned to the witness; and
      (b) the witness must be asked whether or not he made the statement.
      (6) A witness may be cross-examined as to previous statements made by him (whether in writing or orally and subsequently transcribed or otherwise reduced into writing), relative to the subject matter of the proceedings, without such writing being shown to him; but if the cross-examining party intends to use such writing to contradict the witness, the cross-examining party must, before such contradictory proof can be given, draw the witness' attention to those parts of the writing which are to be used for the purpose of contradicting him.
      (7) Nothing in these Regulations affects any of the rules of law as to the circumstances in which, where a person called as a witness in proceedings is cross-examined on a document used by him to refresh his memory, that document may be made evidence in the proceedings.
      (8) Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing a statement of any description referred to above from being admissible by virtue of section 55 as evidence of the matter stated.