Relevant and admissible evidence

. Evidence may be proved by:

  • calling witnesses (witness evidence);
  • producing documents (documentary evidence);
  • producing things (real evidence).

2. In considering the evidence needed to ensure a conviction, you should be concerned with:

  • relevance;
  • admissibility; and
  • weight.

3. Evidence of whatever type must be both relevant and admissible. Evidence is relevant if it logically goes to proving or disproving some fact at issue in the prosecution. It is admissible if it relates to the facts in issue, or to circumstances that make those facts probable or improbable, and has been properly obtained. The prosecution is only required to introduce evidence that proves each element of the offence. For example, for an absolute offence, it is not necessary to introduce evidence as to the defendant’s state of mind. This would be irrelevant and inadmissible. 1 The “weight” of the evidence is the reliance that can properly be placed on it by the court.

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