Opinion Evidence Notes
This is a sample of our (approximately) 5 page long Opinion Evidence notes, which we sell as part of the LAWS 307 Law of Evidence Notes collection, a A- package written at University Of Canterbury in 2012 that contains (approximately) 55 pages of notes across 11 different documents.
The original file is a 'Word (Docx)' whilst this sample is a 'PDF' representation of said file. This means that the formatting here may have errors. The original document you'll receive on purchase should have more polished formatting.
Opinion Evidence Revision
The following is a plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our LAWS 307 Law of Evidence Notes. This text version has had its formatting removed so pay attention to its contents alone rather than its presentation. The version you download will have its original formatting intact and so will be much prettier to look at.
8 Opinion Evidence
8.1 General rule of inadmissibility s 23: A statement of an opinion is not admissible in a proceeding, except as provided
by s 24 or 25. The reason for this is to objectify the subjective. This is to allow the jury to form their
own opinions. S 4 - Interpretation: Opinion, in relation to a statement offered in evidence, means a statement of opinion
that tends to prove or disprove a fact. R v Munro - "it may in practice be difficult in some expert testimony to disentangle
facts from inferences and opinions" but it must be done to "enable the jury better to
evaluate competing theories." FACTS: in this case a constable has created computer
generated diagrams that were presented as "fact when they were in most cases a
reconstruction of what happened based on the constable's opinion". If they were to go
to the jury then they should have been separated from the photos and the jury warned
of their nature.
8.2 Rationale Opinion may usurp the role of the fact finder, be based on inadmissible evidence and
be highly unreliable. Law Commission's 1991 Preliminary Paper: "such evidence can be classified as
unfairly prejudicial, misleading, confusing or timewasting." APN NZ v Simunovich Fisheries - NZSC "an opinion that a fact or circumstance is
true or exists is not generally capable of establishing that the fact or circumstance is
indeed true or does actually exist." Opinion allowed if directly relevant to a fact in issue: R v Gooch - The fact in issue was whether D had come on to Mrs B. She said that he
had "come onto" her making her feel "uncomfortable". Defence submitted that this
was opinion. Court held that it was not because the feelings of the witness were "part
of the context" and therefore "a matter of fact, not opinion." Mrs B's feelings were
found to be relevant, and of a probative value outweighing any illegitimate prejudice.
s 24 - GENERAL ADMISSIBILITY OF OPINIONS A witness may state an opinion in evidence in a proceeding if that opinion is
necessary to enable the witness to communicate, or the factfinder to understand, what
the witness saw, heard, or otherwise perceived. Gives 2 criteria: 1) opinion must be based upon the personal experience of the witness; 2) expression of opinion is the only way it can be communicated.
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