The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Hearsay evidence has long been recognised as potentially unreliable because of the dangers of concoction and the difficulty of testing or contradicting it when the witness is not in court to give evidence.
The Criminal Justice Act 2003 (CJA 2003) allows for the admission of hearsay evidence if one or more of the statutory grounds of admissibility are satisfied.
See Practice Note: Admissibility of hearsay evidence. The CJA 2003 also provides a series of safeguards designed to ensure that the admission of hearsay will not affect the fairness of the trial.
Under CJA 2003 the courts have a discretion to exclude hearsay evidence where the court is satisfied that the case for excluding the evidence substantially outweighs the case for admitting it.CJA 2003, s 126(1)
The statutory discretion to exclude applies to all hearsay evidence, (including hearsay admitted under the common law exceptions preserved under the CJA 2003 or other statutory exceptions) whether tendered by the prosecution or the defence.
See Practice Notes: Admissibility of hearsay—preserved common law exceptions and The statutory exceptions to the rule against hearsay in criminal proceedings.
In R v C and K the Court of Appeal stated that the court's power to exclude hearsay under the CJA 2003 was discretionary and in addition to the general exclusionary power of the court under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE 1984), s 78.R v C and K  EWCA Crim 197
An application to exclude hearsay under the CJA 2003 is made at the same time as an application to exclude prosecution evidence under PACE 1984,
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