Q&As

Where no original can be located, what is the status of a PDF copy of an original agreement for evidential purposes in the context of litigation?

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Published on LexisPSL on 12/07/2018

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where no original can be located, what is the status of a PDF copy of an original agreement for evidential purposes in the context of litigation?
  • Will the court admit non-original documents as evidence in litigation?
  • What weight will the court give to non-original documents as evidence in litigation?
  • Disclosure

Where no original can be located, what is the status of a PDF copy of an original agreement for evidential purposes in the context of litigation?

Will the court admit non-original documents as evidence in litigation?

The court has a general power to control evidence by making directions as to the nature of the evidence which it requires, the way in which the evidence is to be placed before the court, and it may also exclude evidence that would otherwise be admissible (see CPR 32.1).

The residue of the ‘best evidence rule’ may provide useful guidance:

‘That evidence should be the best that the nature of the case will allow is, besides being a matter of obvious prudence, a principle with a considerable pedigree. However, any strict application of this principle has long been obsolete, and the rule is now only of importance in regard to the primary evidence of private documents. The logic of requiring the production of an original document where it is available rather than relying

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