Admissibility of hearsay evidence in criminal proceedings
Admissibility of hearsay evidence in criminal proceedings

The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Admissibility of hearsay evidence in criminal proceedings
  • How to identify hearsay
  • Computer records
  • The statutory gateways
  • Admission under the statutory provisions of CJA 2003
  • Procedure
  • Hearsay applications when the witness is unavailable
  • Exclusion of hearsay evidence
  • The approach of the court—where hearsay is the sole or decisive evidence in the case
  • Safeguarding the defendant
  • more

How to identify hearsay

The definition of hearsay is contained in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (CJA 2003). It comprises of four essential elements.

There must be:

  1. a statement

  2. made out of court

  3. relied on for the truth of the matter stated, and

  4. the purpose of the maker of the statement is to cause another to believe or act on the facts stated

A statement

Under CJA 2003 a statement is broadly defined as any representation of fact or opinion by whatever means. This means that the representation could be made orally, in writing or by a gesture. The representation must be made by a person not a machine.

The statement must be made out of court

The statement must be made other than in court in the present proceedings, that is out of court. Such statements will include previous statements made by a person other than a witness in the proceedings, previous statements made by a person who is a witness in the proceedings, and also statements made by the witness on oath in other proceedings.

The statement must be relied on at trial for the truth of the matter stated

Statements are only hearsay if they are relied on for their truth, rather than for some other purpose. If the statement is being adduced for another purpose, it will not be