Laws of evidence

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Laws of evidence

To gain a conviction Laws of evidence countries where the rule of law is firmly rooted, it is essential that the investigating agency gather sufficient legally admissible evidence to convince the judge or jury that the suspect is guilty.

Police departments are often reasonably certain that… The early law of evidence Characteristic features of the law of evidence in earlier cultures were that no distinction was made between civil and criminal matters or between fact and law and that rational means of evidence were either unknown or little used.

In general, the accused had to prove his innocence.

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Nonrational sources of evidence The appeal to supernatural powers was, of course, not evidence in the modern sense but an ordeal in which God was appealed to as the highest judge.

The judges of the community determined what different kinds of ordeals were to be suffered, and frequently the ordeals involved threatening the accused with fire, a hot iron, or drowning.

It may be that a certain awe associated with the two great elements of fire and water made them appear preeminently suitable for dangerous tests by which God himself was to pass on guilt or innocence. Trial by battle had much the same origin. To be sure, the powerful man relied on his strength, but it was also assumed that God would be on the side of right.

Semirational sources of evidence The accused free person could offer to exonerate himself by oath. Under these circumstances, in contrast to the ordeals, it was not expected that God would rule immediately but rather that he would punish the perjurer at a later time.

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Nevertheless, there was ordinarily enough realism so that the mere oath of the accused person alone was not allowed. Rather, he was ordered to swear with a number of compurgatorsor witnesses, who confirmed, so to speak, the oath of the person swearing.

They stood as guarantees for his oath but never gave any testimony about the facts. But they gave only their opinions and consequently did not testify about facts with which they were acquainted. Nevertheless, together with community witnesses, they paved the way for the more rational use of evidence.

The influence of Roman-canonical law By the 13th century, ordeals were no longer used, though the custom of trial by battle lasted until the 14th and 15th centuries.

Laws of evidence

The judicial machinery destroyed by dropping these sources of evidence could not be replaced by the oath of purgation alone. With the decline of chivalrythe flourishing of the towns, the further development of Christian theology, and the formation of states, both social and cultural conditions had changed.

The law of evidence, along with much of the rest of the law of Europe, was influenced strongly by Roman-canonical law elaborated by jurists in northern Italian universities. Roman law introduced elements of common procedure that became known throughout the continental European countries and became something of a uniting bond between them.

Under the new influence, evidence was, first of all, evaluated on a hierarchical basis. This accorded well with the assumption of scholastic philosophy that all the possibilities of life could be formally ordered through a system of a priori, abstract regulations. Since the law was based on the concept of the inequality of persons, not all persons were suitable as witnesses, and only the testimony of two or more suitable witnesses could supply proof.

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The formal theory of evidence that grew out of this hierarchical evaluation left no option for the judge: A distinction was made between complete, half, and lesser portions of evidence, evading the problem posed by such a rigid system of evaluation.

Since interrogation of witnesses was secret, abuses occurred on another level. These abuses were nourished by the notion that the confession was the best kind of evidence and that reliable confessions could be obtained by means of torture. Despite these obvious drawbacks and limitations, through the ecclesiastical courts Roman-canonical law gained influence.

It contributed much to the elimination of nonrational evidence from the courts, even though, given the formality of its application, it could result only in formal truths often not corresponding to reality.

Comparative survey of modern principles A comparison of the principles of evidence under different legal traditions can best be made by examining the rights and obligations of the plaintiff and the defendant in civil proceedings and of the prosecutor and the accused in criminal proceedings.

The position of the judge is also crucial. Historically, two systems developed. The first, which follows what may be called the inquisitorial principle, had its origins in medieval Roman-canonical proceedings. It is distinguished by the active part played by the judgewho, by virtue of his office, himself searches for the facts, listens to witnesses and experts, examines documents, and orders the taking of evidence.

In continental European countries and those other countries that derive their law from them, this system has generally been retained for criminal proceedings. The prosecutor and the accused, of course, give their recital of the facts and indicate their evidence for specific assertions. But, by virtue of his role in the case, the judge must make further investigations if he deems them necessary to obtain the truth.

In some western European countries, there is a definite inclination toward employing this inquisitorial system in all legal proceedings that have, or could have, a substantial public legal impact—e.

The second system, which employs what are usually called accusatorial or adversary principles, is used in the common-law countries for all civil and criminal cases.Evidence: Evidence, in law, any of the material items or assertions of fact that may be submitted to a competent tribunal as a means of ascertaining the truth of any alleged matter of fact under investigation before it.

To the end that court decisions are to be based on truth founded on evidence, a primary. Laws governing U.S. elections date back to Article 1 of the Constitution, which gave states the responsibility of overseeing federal barnweddingvt.comus Constitutional amendments and federal laws have been passed in the years since to ensure all Americans have the right to vote and the ability to exercise that right.

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The laws of science, also called scientific laws or scientific principles, are statements that describe or predict a range of natural phenomena. Each scientific law is a statement based on repeated experimental observations that describes some aspect of the barnweddingvt.com term law has diverse usage in many cases (approximate, accurate, broad, or narrow theories) across all fields of natural.

Evidence. Any matter of fact that a party to a lawsuit offers to prove or disprove an issue in the case. A system of rules and standards that is used to determine which facts may be admitted, and to what extent a judge or jury may consider those facts, as proof of a particular issue in a lawsuit.

Criminal Evidence for Law Enforcement Officers. Law enforcement officials, college professors, and students will find this textbook critical to understanding the basic principles, rules, and constitutional provisions regulating admission of evidence in criminal courts.

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