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Direct evidence

 Actual exhibits or testimony of a witness who observed the incident.

Indirect or circumstantial evidence

 Any fact from the existence of which the court may infer the existence of a fact in issue.
 A fact may be inferred from a refusal to disclose.

 Hane v Canadian Imperial 37 WIR 39 (PC).

o Circumstantial evidence may also be inferred from what transpired before, during
and after an incident.
 Deolal Sookram v R 44 WIR 400

 Law is commonly divided into substantive law (which defines rights, duties and
liabilities) and
 Adjective law (which defines the procedure, pleading and proof by which the
substantive law is applied in practice).

Rules of procedure regulate conduct of litigation.

 Ascertain for the guidance of the parties and the court the material facts in issue
in each particular case.

 Establishment of such facts by proper legal means to the satisfaction of the court.

The purpose of Evidence –

(1) To lay down rules as to what matter is and is not admissible for establishing facts in
(2) The manner in which such matters may be placed before the court.

 Whether any proof is required or not is a question of law.

 The law of evidence has no direct concern with the ascertainment of the relevant principles
of law and their application to the facts.
 The English law of evidence is based on the assumption that the normal method of trial is by
judge and jury that must not have before it matters which they should not have to take into
account when arriving at a verdict.
 An objection often cannot be ruled upon without knowing what is the evidence objected to,
and in any case, the court can select or reject.
 Therefore, it is when the evidence is tendered that the question of its admissibility has to be

What is Evidence?

 The means apart from argument and inference, whereby a court is informed of
the issues of fact as ascertained by the pleadings.
 The subject matter of such means.
 Evidence is that which is placed before a court oral, documentary or real, in order
for it to decide issues of fact.
 The principles relating to what matters are not admissible to prove or disprove
facts in issue
 The rules relating to the production and reception of such evidence – how and if
such items should be presented to the court.

Direct evidence
 The existence of a given thing or fact is proved by its actual production or by the
testimony or admissible declaration of someone who has himself perceived it.

Indirect or presumptive evidence

 Other facts are proved from which the existence of the given fact may be logically

Real evidence
 Material objects, other than documents, produced for inspection of the court.
 When it is available, it is probably the most satisfactory kind of evidence.
 Unless its genuineness is in dispute, the thing speaks for itself.

Primary and secondary evidence

 The kinds of proof that may be given of the contents of a document, irrespective
of the purpose for which such contents, when proved, may be received.

Primary evidence
 Means the best or highest kind, that which the law regards as affording the
greatest certainty of the fact in question.
 Production of the original document, or proof of an admission of its contents by
the party against whom it is tendered, is considered primary in this sense.

Secondary evidence
 means inferior or substitution evidence, that which itself indicates that existence
of more original sources of information;
 The copy or the testimony of a witness, who has read the document, is secondary.