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Definition: Evidence

The whole body of material which a court or tribunal may take into account in reaching their decision.

May be Oral, written or in visual form


Definition: Admissible evidence

evidence is admissible if it is legally able to be received by a court.


Definition and act/section: Relevance

evidence is relevant if it has a tendency to prove or disprove anything that is of consequence to the determination of the proceedings (sec7(3), Evidence act 2006)


Definition: facts in issue

facts in issue are those which:
-the prosecution must prove to establish the elements of the offence, OR
- the defednant must prove to succeed with a defence, in respect of which he/she carries the burden of proof.


Definition: Exclusionary rules.

Rules that exclude evidence (usually because it is unreliable, unduly prejudicial, or otherwise unfair to admit it).


Definition: Weight of evidence

'weight' is its value in relation to the facts in issue. The value depends on a wide range of factors including:

-the extent to which it is directly relevant to or conclusive of those facts

-the extent it is supported or contradicted by other evidence

-the veracity of the witness.



Definition and section: offer evidence

Evidence is offered when a proposition is put to a witness and the witness accepts the proposition - does not include merely putting a proposition to witness, witness MUST accept proposition
(sec 96(1), Evidence act 2006)

Offering evidence in the evidence act includes eliciting evidence by cross examination of a witness called by another party.


Definition: Give evidence, and 3 ways to give evidence

'giving evidence' is included in 'offering evidence: a witness 'gives evidence'; a party 'offers evidence'. A party who testifies both 'gives evidence' and 'offers evidence'.

Evidence may be given:
-in the ordinary way
-in an alternative way
-in any other way


Definition: giving evidence in an ordinary way

Either orally in a courtroom

or in an affidavit filed in court or by reading a written statement in a courtroom, if both prosecution and defence consent the statement is admissible, and it is the personal statement of the deponent or maker.


Definition: giving evidence in an alternative way

- In the courtroom but unable to see the defendant or other person;
- outside the courtroom;
- by video recording made before the hearing.


Definition: giving evidence in any other way

Provided for by the evidence act 2006 or any other relevant enactment.


Definition: Incriminate

To incriminate is to provide information that is reasonably likely to lead to, or increase likelihood of, the prosecution of a person for a criminal offence.


Definition: Proceeding

A proceeding conducted by a court, and any application to a court connected with a proceeding.


Definition: Statement

Spoken or written assertions by a person, or non-verbal conduct of a person intended by that person as an assertion on any matter.


Definition: Witness

A person who gives evidence and is able to be cross examined in a proceeding.


Definition: Hearsay statement.

A statement made by a person other than a witness, and is offered in evidence in the proceeding to prove the truth of its contents.
Out-of-court statements made by a 'witness' are not excluded by the hearsay rule because the maker is available to be cross-examined.
A statement offered for some purpose other than proving the truth of its contents, for example merely to show the statements was uttered or made, is not a hearsay statement.


Definition: Veracity

The disposition of a person to refrain from lying, whether generally or in a proceeding. Sec 37(5), EA 2006


Definition: Propensity

Propensity evidence is evidence about a person propensity to act in a particular way, or to have a particular state of mind, and includes evidence of acts, omissions, events or circumstances with which a person is alleged to have been involved.


Definition: Direct evidence

Any evidence given by a witness as a fact in issue that he or she has seen, heard or otherwise experienced (eg eyewitness)


Definition: Circumstantial evidence

Evidence of circumstances that do not directly prove any fact in issue, but which allow inferences about the existence of those facts to be drawn (eg defendant seen in vicinity of the crime)


Definition: Enforcement agency

Refers to NZ Police or any body or organisation that has a statutory responsibility for the enforcement of an enactment, including the NZ Customs Service, Ministry of Fisheries and IRD.