Evidence CIB 009 - updated July 2017 Flashcards Preview

Detective Training Programme 18 > Evidence CIB 009 - updated July 2017 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Evidence CIB 009 - updated July 2017 Deck (83)
Loading flashcards...

Define the term 'evidence'.

“Evidence” is the term for the whole body of material which a court or tribunal – ie in criminal cases the Judge or jury – may take into account in reaching their decision. Evidence may be in oral, written or visual form.


What makes evidence admissible?

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


What makes evidence relevant? (s7(3), Evidence Act 2006)

Evidence is relevant “if it has a tendency to prove or disprove anything that is of consequence to the determination of a proceeding”


To what does the term 'facts in issue' refer?

Facts in issue are those which:
• the prosecution must prove to establish the elements of the offence, or
• the defendant must prove to succeed with a defence, in respect of which he or she carries the burden of proof.


What are 'exclusionary rules'?

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


What is the 'weight' of evidence?

The weight of evidence is its value in relation to the facts in issue or the degree of probative force that can be accorded the evidence.


What is the definition of “Offer Evidence?”

Evidence must be elicited before it is offered.

Merely putting a proposition to a witness is not offering evidence; it becomes so when the witness accepts the proposition - S96(1) of the Evidence Act 2006.

Offering Evidence in the Evidence At 2006 includes eliciting evidence by cross-examination of a witness called by another party.


What are the three ways in which Evidence may be Given?

“Giving Evidence” is included in “Offering Evidence”.

A witness “Gives Evidence”, a party “Offers Evidence”.

A party who testifies both gives and offers evidence.

1. In the ordinary way - orally in a courtroom, in an affidavit filed in court, or by reading a written statement in a courtroom.

2. In an alternative way - in the courtroom but unable to see the defendant or other person, outside the courtroom, or by video recording made before the hearing.

3. In any other way - provided for by the Evidence Act 2006 or any other relevant enactment.


Define the term 'incriminate'.

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


What is the definition of “Proceeding?”

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


What is the definition of “Statement?”

This is a spoken or written assertion by a person, or nonverbal conduct of a person intended by that person as an assertion of any matter.


What is the definition of “Witness?”

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


Define the term 'hearsay statement' in one sentence.

A statement made by a person other than a witness and offered in evidence at the proceeding to prove the truth of its contents.


Define the term 'veracity'.

The disposition of a person to refrain from lying, whether generally or in a proceeding.


Define “Propensity?”

Propensity evidence is evidence about a person’s propensity to act in a particular way or 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.


Define the term 'direct evidence'.

Any evidence given by a witness as to a fact in issue that he or she has seen, heard or otherwise experienced.


Define the term '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.


Define the term “Enforcement agency?”

This refers to the New Zealan d Police or any body or organisation that has a statutory responsibility for the enforcement of an enactment, including the New Zealand Customs Service, the Ministry of Fisheries and the Inland Revenue Department.


What does the Woolmington principle establish?

This principle establishes that, subject to specific statutory exceptions, the burden of proof lies clearly with the prosecution in relation to all of the elements of the offence.


In relation to burden of proof, explain the practical obligation on the defence.

- If the prosecution proves facts from which it can be concluded that the defendant committed the act with the requisite element, then the defendant has to produce some story or evidence if he or she wants to suggest the conclusion is wrong.
- This is not a burden of proof. The defendant does not have to prove anything.
- It applies where defendants wish to state that they did not do the act or have the necessary mental element, but where they do not wish to put up a particular defence.
- It's a practical obligation to point to some evidence that suggests reasonable doubt.


In what situation would there be an evidential burden on the defence?

If the defendant wishes to put up a defence to the charge.


The Woolmington principle establishes that the burden of proof lies clearly with the prosecution in relation to all of the elements of the offence. There are exceptions. List three exceptions.

1. The defence of insanity is claimed

2. Express statutory exceptions exist. Eg, s202A(4)(b), possession of an offensive weapon.

3. Public welfare regulatory offences.


Discuss the difference in the standard of proof required between the prosecution and the defence.

Prosecution = beyond reasonable doubt

Defence = balance of probabilities


How is the concept of 'beyond reasonable doubt' defined in R v Wanhalla?

A reasonable doubt is "an honest and reasonable uncertainty left in your mind about the guilt of the defendant after you have given careful and impartial consideration to all of the evidence".


Define the concept of 'balance of probabilities'.

Where the defence is required to prove a particular element (eg. insanity) the defence must simply show that it is more probable than not.

If the probabilities are equal the burden is not discharged.


Explain the purpose of the Evidence Act.

Section 6, Evidence Act 2006

The purpose of this Act is to help secure the just determination of proceedings by -

(a) providing for facts to be established by the application of logical rules AND
(Ob) providing rules of evidence that recognise the importance of the rights affirmed by the NZ BOR Act 1990 AND
(c) promoting fairness to parties and witnesses AND
(d) protecting rights of confidentiality and other important public interests AND
(e) avoiding unjustifiable delay AND
(f) enhancing access to the law of evidence.


A general rule of evidence is that all facts in issue and facts relevant to the issue must be proved by evidence. There are two main exceptions to the general rule. What are they?

When no evidence needs to be given of facts because
- judicial notice is taken
- the facts are formally admitted


Explain the concept of judicial notice. Provide an example.

When a court takes judicial notice of a fact, it declares that it will find that the fact exists, or will direct the jury to do so even though evidence has not been established that the fact exists. Eg. If the date of Christmas were a fact in issue.


Which two sections of the Evidence Act 2006 provide for judicial notice and to what do they relate?

s128 - Notice of uncontroverted facts

s129 - Admission of reliable published documents


Explain what 'facts formally admitted' are.

In a trial the counsel for either party can accept that some evidence is accepted or proven at the outset so it need not be discussed.


What is a presumption of law? Give an example.

An inference that has been expressly drawn by law from particular facts. Eg, a child under 12 years is unable to be convicted.


What is a presumption of fact? Give an example.

Presumptions of fact are those that the mind naturally and logically draws from the given facts. Eg, one presumes that a person has guilty knowledge if they have possession of recently stolen goods.


In deciding whether evidence is admissible, the courts have reference to certain principles of evidence law. List three of those principles.

- Relevance
- Reliability
- Unfairness


Explain the section 8 test.

The section 8 test involves balancing the probative value of evidence against the risk that it will:
- have an "unfairly prejudicial effect on the proceeding" (s8(1)(a)) OR
- "needlessly prolong the proceeding" (s8(1)(b))


What must be taken into account under s8(2)?

"...the right of the defendant to offer an effective defence."


What is provisionally admitted evidence?

Where a question arises concerning the admissibility of evidence the judge may admit the evidence subject to further evidence being offered later which establishes its admissibility. If the other evidence is not forthcoming the provisionally admitted evidence must be excluded from consideration.


What is a 'voir dire'?

A hearing where evidence is given by a witness to prove the facts necessary for deciding whether some other evidence should be admitted in a proceeding. These facts are sometimes referred to as preliminary facts.


List five of the things the exclusive rules deal with.

- Veracity
- Propensity
- Hearsay
- Opinion
- Identification
- Improperly obtained evidence


The Evidence Act 2006 divides what was called 'character' evidence into two classes of evidence. What are those two classes and how are they defined?

Veracity - a disposition to refrain from lying
Propensity - a tendency to act in a particular way


What is the threshold for veracity evidence to be admissible?

It must be 'substantially helpful' in assessing the veracity of the person.


In deciding whether or not evidence proposed to be offered about the veracity of a person is substantially helpful the judge may consider what?

(a) lack of veracity on the part of the person when under a legal obligation to tell the truth (eg, in an earlier proceeding or in a signed declaration)
(b) that the person has been convicted of 1 or more offences that indicate a propensity for dishonesty or lack of veracity
(c) any previous inconsistent statements made by the person
(d) bias on the part of the person
(e) a motive on the part of the person to be untruthful


In what two instances are the substantial helpfulness test not sufficient when assessing veracity evidence?

- Where the prosecution wish to offer evidence about a defendant's veracity
- Where a defendant offers veracity evidence about a co-defendant


What does s37(4) say about a party challenging the veracity of their own witness?

A party who calls a witness-
(a) may not offer evidence to challenge that witness's veracity unless the judge determines the witness to be hostile, but
(b) may offer evidence as to the facts in issue contrary to the evidence of that witness.


What four elements need to be met in order to be able to offer evidence of a defendant's veracity?

- Prosecution must show that veracity is relevant
- Defendant has offered evidence about his or her veracity (by testifying or questioning witnesses) or has challenged the veracity of a prosecution witness by reference to matters other than the facts in issue
- The proposed evidence must meet the substantial helpfulness test
- Prosecution must get permission from the judge to offer the evidence


In deciding whether to give permission for the prosecution to question the defendant about his or her veracity, the judge may take into account what three factors? (s38(3))

(a) the extent to which the defendant's veracity or the veracity of a prosecution witness has been put in issue in a defendant's evidence
(b) the time that has elapsed since any conviction about which the prosecution seeks to give evidence
(c) whether any evidence given by the defendant about veracity was elicited by the prosecution


What does propensity evidence include?

(a) ...evidence that tends to show a person's propensity to act in a particular way or to have a particular state of mind...


What does propensity evidence not include?

(b) does not include evidence of an act or omission that is-
(i) one of the elements of the offence for which the person is being tried; or
(ii) the cause of action in the proceeding in question


- evidence that is solely or mainly about veracity


The general position is that a party may offer propensity evidence about who?

Any person


What are the consequences of a defendant offering propensity evidence about himself? (s41(2))

The prosecution or another party may, with the permission of the judge, offer propensity evidence about that defendant.


Explain the difference between s43 and s8.

s43 focuses only on the risk of an unfairly prejudicial effect on the defendant. s8 focuses on the risk of an unfairly prejudicial effect on the whole proceeding.


What must the judge take into account when assessing the probative value of propensity evidence?

'the nature of the issue in dispute'


Under s18 what are the criteria for admissibility of hearsay?

(a) the circumstances relating to the statement provide reasonable assurance that the statement is reliable AND
(b) either-
(i) the maker of the statement is unavailable as a witness OR
(ii) the Judge considers that undue expense or delay would be caused if the maker of the statement were required as a witness.


List three reasons for the rule against hearsay.

- Where the maker of a statement is not called as a witness there is no opportunity to cross-examine them
- Juries cannot evaluate evidence properly without being able to see the demeanour of the person who made the statement
- There is a danger that witnesses will make mistakes about the meaning or content of statements made by other people


s16(1) provides a list of matters the court should consider when determining whether the 'circumstances relating to the statement provide reasonable assurance that the statement is reliable' (s18 - general admissibility of hearsay). List five of those matters.

(a) the nature of the statement
(b) the contents of the statement
(c) the circumstances that relate to the making of the statement
(d) any circumstances that relate to the veracity of the person
(e) any circumstances that relate to the accuracy of the observation of the person


s16(2) defines what is meant by 'unavailable as a witness' in s18. List the situations that make someone unavailable.

(a) dead
(b) outside NZ and it is not reasonably practicable for him or her to be a witness
(c) unfit to be a witness because of age or physical or mental condition
(d) cannot with reasonable diligence be identified or found
(e) not compellable to give evidence


s24 outlines the general admissibility of opinions. In order to be admissible under s24, what two basic criteria must be fulfilled?

- opinion must be the only way in which to effectively communicate the information to the fact finder
- the witness must be stating an opinion from something personally perceived


s25 governs the admissibility of expert opinion evidence. In order to comply with s25, the opinion must...

- be that of an expert
- comprise expert evidence
- offer substantial help to the fact finder in understanding other evidence or ascertaining any fact in the proceeding


What is the notice requirement in s23 in regards to the calling of an expert witness?

If the defendant intends to call an expert witness, he or she must disclose the brief of evidence or report at least 14 days before the date fixed for the trial.


Before a person is served with a summons to appear in court, verification must be made as to...(list four things)

- whether they are allowed to give evidence
- whether they are required to give evidence
- whether they can refuse to give evidence
- what type of witness they will be


What makes a witness eligible?

If they are lawfully able to give evidence on behalf of both prosecution and defence.


What makes a witness compellable?

If they can be required to give evidence against their will for both prosecution and defence.


Under s73 an associated defendant is not compellable to give evidence for or against a defendant in a criminal proceeding. There are two exceptions. What are they?

(a) the associated defendant is being tried separately from the defendant, or
(b) the proceeding against the associated defendant has been determined.


What is the definition of a privilege?

A privilege in relation to the giving of evidence is the right to refuse to disclose or to prevent disclosure of what would otherwise be admissible.


List five types of privileges listed in the Evidence Act 2006.

- communications with legal advisors
- solicitor's trust accounts
- preparatory materials for proceedings
- settlement negotiations or mediation
- communications with ministers of religion
- information obtained by medical practitioners and clinical psychologists
- privilege against self-incrimination
- informer privilege


Limited privilege protecting information obtained by medical practitioners and clinical psychologists is allowed for under s59, Evidence Act 2006. To whom does this apply and to whom does it not apply under s59(1)?

(a) applies to a person who consults or is examined by a medical practitioner or a clinical psychologist for drug dependency or any other condition or behaviour that may manifest itself in criminal conduct, but
(b) does not apply in the case of a person who has been required by an order of a Judge, or by other lawful authority, o submit himself or herself to the medical practitioner or clinical psychologist for any examination, test, or for any other purpose.


s64 relates to privilege to protect informers. In what situation may this privilege be disallowed by the judge?

Where the judge is of the opinion that evidence of the information is necessary to enable the defendant to present an effective defence.


Under s121 'It is not necessary in a criminal proceeding for the evidence on which the prosecution relies to be corroborated, except with respect to the offences of...

(a) perjury
(b) false oaths
(c) false statements or declarations
(d) treason


Outline the judge's role in a jury trial.

- decide all questions concerning the admissiblity of evidence
- explain and enforce the general principles of law applying to the point of issue
- instruct the jury on the rules of law by which the evidence is to be weighed once it has been submitted


The conduct of criminal trials follows the _____ or _____ system of justice developed through the English common law.

adversarial or accusatorial


Witnesses who are 12 years of age or older must take an oath or affirmation before giving evidence. What happens with witnesses under the age of 12?

They must:
- be informed by the judge of the importance of telling the truth and not telling lies, and
- after being given that information, make a promise to tell the truth, before giving evidence


How is the term 'leading question' defined in s4?

One that directly or indirectly suggests a particular answer to the question.


Why is there a prohibition on leading questions?

- There is a natural tendency for people to agree with suggestions put to them by saying "yes" even if those suggestions do not precisely accord with their own view of what happened.
- Counsel asking leading questions of their own witnesses can more easily elicit answers which they wish to receive, thereby reducing the spontaneity and genuineness of the testimony.
- There is a danger that leading questions will result in the manipulation or construction of evidence through collusion, conscious or otherwise, between counsel and witness.


What is the goal of evidence in chief and re-examination?

To draw out the witness's own recollections and to permit the trier-of-fact to judge the quality of the witness's testimony.


Leading questions are statutorily permitted in evidence in chief in some circumstances. What are those circumstances? (s89(1))

(a) the question relates to introductory or undisputed matters, or
(b) the question is put with the consent of all other parties, or
(c) the Judge, in exercise of the the Judge's discretion, allows the question


What three conditions must be satisfied for a witness wishes to consult a document in court?

- The leave of the judge must be obtained

- The document must be shown to every other party in the proceeding

- The document needs to have been 'made or adopted' by a witness 'at a time when his or her memory was fresh'.


Under s35 a previous consistent statement is not admissible. What is the exception?

If the statement is 'necessary to respond to a challenge to the witness's veracity or accuracy, based on a previous inconsistent statement of the witness or on a claim of recent invention on the part of the witness'.


If a witness is declared hostile, the witness may be asked questions in the manner of a cross-examination to the extent that the judge considers necessary. List four things this may include.

- Asking leading questions
- Asking questions designed to probe the accuracy of memory and perception
- Asking questions as to prior inconsistent statements
- Other challenges to veracity, including evidence from other witnesses (provided it's substantially helpful)


Define hostile witness.

- Exhibits, or appears to exhibit, a lack of veracity when giving evidence unfavourable to the party who called the witness on a matter about which the witness may reasonably be supposed to have knowledge, or
- Gives evidence that is inconsistent with a statement made by that witness in a manner that exhibits, or appears to exhibit, an intention to be unhelpful to the party who called the witness, or
- refuses to answer questions or deliberately withholds evidence


What are the two purposes of cross-examination?

- To elicit information supporting the case of the party conducting the cross-examination
- To challenge the accuracy of the testimony given in evidence-in-chief


Under s96(1) the duty to cross-examine arises when?

- The cross-examination deals with 'significant matters' in the proceeding, and
- The matters are 'relevant' and 'in issue' in the proceeding, and
- The matters 'contradict the evidence of the witness', and
- The witness may 'reasonably be expected to be in a position to give admissible evidence on those matters'


Under s85(1) and unacceptable question is any question that the Judge considers...

'improper, unfair, misleading, needlessly repetitive, or expressed in language that is too complicated for the witness to understand'


Leave to call evidence in rebuttal may only be given by the court if the further evidence satisfies several conditions. Name four of them.

- Relates to a purely formal matter
- Relates to a matter arising out of the conduct of the defence, the relevance of which could not reasonably have been foreseen
- Was not available or admissible before the prosecution's case was closed
- Is required to be admitted in the interests of justice or for any other reason


In what situation must the privilege under s64 (Informers) must be disallowed?

Where there is a prima facie case that the information was given for a dishonest purpose or to enable or aid anyone to commit or plan to commit an offence.