My Study Stuff

04/11/2011

Evidence vs Proof

Filed under: Law,Logic — anlactunay @ 3:28 PM

Evidence vs Proof

Evidence: [uncountable noun] Anything which tends to prove the existence of a fact.

Proof: [uncountable, countable] Evidence which satisfies a tribunal of fact, to the standard required, of the essential factual propositions that constitute the elements of a legal action.

Anecdotal evidence =
Reports or observations, usually about a small number of people’s experiences and not from a scientific study. Anecdotes are useful for sharing experiences, and may spark proper scientific studies, but anecdotal evidence is not reliable enough to help you decide how effective medicines are or how likely you are to get a particular side effect.

Character evidence =
Evidence about the honesty or good standing of a witness.

Circumstantial evidence =
Evidence of ‘a basic fact or facts from which the jury is asked to infer a further fact or facts’, traditionally contrasted with direct or (testimonial) evidence.

Direct evidence =
(testimonial evidence) Evidence adduced from a person who personally witnessed the event sought to be proved.

Documentary evidence =
Evidence in writing, rather than oral evidence or sign language.

Hearsay evidence =
Evidence which is tendered as proof of the truth of facts stated by a person who is not called as a witness.
In Sparks v. R. [1964] A.C. 964 for example, the defendant (a white man) was-placed on trial for indecent assault of a young girl. Sometime after the attack the child had told her mother she believed her attacker to be a coloured person. The child did not give evidence at the trial so that the description of the attacker given by the child in the course of the conversation with her mother was treated as hearsay.
As a general rule (although there are numerous exceptions to it) hearsay evidence is not admissible in either civil or criminal proceedings.

Opinion evidence =
A belief or opinion is not a fact and is therefore, as a general rule, at common law and under legislation (e.g. the Uniform Evidence Acts), not admissible in evidence.

Source: OALD

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