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This work presents a critical look at the operation, theoretical basis, and possible reform of the rule against Hearsay in criminal trials. The main focus of the book is on English law, but references also are made to the legal position in a number of other jurisdictions.
The law of Criminal Hearsay is one of the most controversial and topical areas of English law today. Following closely on the heels of the publication of the Law Commission's consultation paper on Criminal Hearsay, this timely book takes a critical look at the operation of the Hearsay rule in criminal trials on indictment in England. In addition, an examination of the legal position in a number of other jurisdictions (especially Canada, Australia, and the United States) is undertaken at appropriate points in the text.
The author examines possible rationale for the Hearsay rule, challenging traditional notions that the rule in criminal proceedings exists simply to safeguard the reliability of evidence. A critical review of some of the relevant psychological research is also undertaken. Included in the book, too, is a discussion of some possible options for reform, including the suggestions made by the Law Commission in its consultation papers.