Electronic Evidence and the Rule Against Hearsay Analytical Essay by nikki77

Electronic Evidence and the Rule Against Hearsay
An analysis of how the rule against hearsay has been applied to various forms of mechanical evidence.
# 149076 | 3,449 words | 30 sources | MLA | 2011 | IE
Published on Nov 23, 2011 in Law (Evidence)

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This paper explores the way in which electronic evidence has been incorporated into the rules of evidence, focusing first on information gathered or processed wholly by computers, and secondly, on information where there has been a certain amount of human intervention. The paper focuses on the problems posed in terms of how the rule against hearsay applies, however, consideration is also given to other troublesome aspects of such evidence. The paper concludes that the challenges posed for the rules of evidence by mechanically generated information can be overcome, but only with sufficient legislative impetus.

The Rule Against Hearsay
Defining the Evidence
Defining the Evidence - "Real Evidence"
Human Intervention in Electronic Evidence and the Rule Against Hearsay
Electronic Evidence and the Need for Reform

From the Paper:

"Of course, technology in 2006 had advanced hugely even since the 1990s, so while determination of whether the evidence in question was real evidence became clear relatively early on in case law, other problems arose which were of a more practical nature. For example, in Derby v. Weldon (No. 9) , though the evidence in question, which was stored on the defendant's computer, was easily defined as a "document" by the court, the difficulty lay in the discovery of said documents. The first issue brought to the court's attention was that the prosecution could not access the relevant information without also accessing all other information stored on the computer. Secondly, the prosecution could not ask for discovery where there was a possibility that extracting the information would necessitate the entire reprogramming of the computer. Thirdly, access to the computer would disrupt the daily use thereof which was also impermissible. Further to this, there were complications as to how the diskettes to which the information was transferred could be read. Put simply, the court suffered from lack of guidance on these specific and very technical issues. It is suggested that such issues arise less frequently nowadays since technology has advanced to a point where these problems can be overcome quite easily. Nevertheless, the difficulties with which the court was faced in Derby v. Weldon (No. 9) demonstrate the need for clear legislative guidelines which pre-empt technological advances."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Amanda Hoey, "Analysis of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, s. 69 - Computer Generated Evidence" (1996) 1 Web JCLI
  • "Case Comment: R v. Constantinou" (1989) Crim. L. R. 571
  • Shane Murphy, "The Use of Business Records in Prosecutions" (2004) 14(1) ICLJ 19
  • Cross, R., and Tapper, C., Cross on Evidence (8th ed., Butterworths, 1999)
  • Fennell, C., The Law of Evidence in Ireland (3rd ed., Bloomsbury Professional, 2009)

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Electronic Evidence and the Rule Against Hearsay (2011, November 23) Retrieved July 06, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/electronic-evidence-and-the-rule-against-hearsay-149076/

MLA Format

"Electronic Evidence and the Rule Against Hearsay" 23 November 2011. Web. 06 July. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/electronic-evidence-and-the-rule-against-hearsay-149076/>