Admissibility of hearsay evidence in criminal proceedings—statements in documents
Admissibility of hearsay evidence in criminal proceedings—statements in documents

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

  • Admissibility of hearsay evidence in criminal proceedings—statements in documents
  • Statements in business and other documents
  • The statutory conditions
  • Additional rules for documents prepared for criminal proceedings or investigations
  • The supplier of the information
  • Procedure
  • Safeguards

Statements in business and other documents

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 (CJA 2003) governs the admissibility of:

  1. business records, and

  2. documents prepared for pending or contemplated criminal proceedings or for a criminal investigation

Under the statutory regime the statement must be contained in a document or part of a document. Oral statements (or gestures) are therefore not admissible under CJA 2003, s 117.

See Practice Note: Admissibility of hearsay evidence.

The term 'statement' is defined in CJA 2003. It includes any representation of fact or opinion by a person.

CJA 2003, expressly provides that statements contained in a document are only admissible if oral evidence about the matter would be admissible in the proceedings. Therefore if the evidence is inadmissible by other rules of evidence the evidence cannot be admitted under CJA 2003, s 117.

The statutory conditions

To be admissible, statements contained in business records or other documents must satisfy the following conditions:

  1. the document must have been created or received by a person in the course of a trade, business profession or other occupation (or the holder of a paid or unpaid office)

  2. the supplier of the information in the document must be shown to have had personal knowledge of the information supplied, and

  3. where the document contains information that has been supplied to more than one person, each person