Evidence

Faced with the ever increasing pile of personal property notes that I have to read by each week, I’ve decided to give it a rest. I do have other modules you know, Yock Lin. Seriously, unless you make this an eight MC course, why drown us in readings every week? It’s no point la. I see it and I get depressed. It’s like trying to catch a train that’s already on its way, there I am running on the platform, and I almost could grab the door rails but you dish out another stack of notes and I’m back to square one. Or maybe the treadmill analogy is more accurate, I’m running on the spot with seemingly no progress.

I shouldn’t complain. I shouldn’t complain. I shouldn’t complain.   Never, never, never, never, never give up.  

But why? Why? Why overload the course? Why have that long, interminable readings? Why? It makes students resentful, you know. This student in particular. I was looking forward to school reopening actually, I have nothing against studying. On certain days, I really do like it. I like studying. NUS has a way of killing it though. Grr. We all take it as it comes.

But there are saving graces. Evidence cases are quite the eye-opener. I’m studying the similar facts rule. This rule states that:

‘Similar fact’ evidence, or evidence of bad character, is not admissible for the purpose of leading to the conclusion that a person, from his criminal conduct or character, is likely to have committed the offence for which he is being held.

Long sentences and too many commas—it’s a common affliction suffered by judges and law-makers. In simple English, previous misconduct by the accused generally cannot be submitted to the court because it is no argument to say that because of the previous misconduct, they are more predisposed to have committed the present crime. In this age of genetics, I’m glad for this rule.

They include sordid cases of incest and the like. Cases of baby-farming, where this sick and twisted couple, Mr and Mrs Makins, took care of a baby, where the baby subsequently died. The issue was whether the evidence of 4 corpses of babies in his backyard should be adduced, i.e. submitted to the court. There was also evidence of 2 corpses in the backyard of the previous residence the couple was staying in. There you have it, your baby-sitters from hell. Sick, sick, sick.

Quotable quotes from various judges include:

On striking similarity per Lord Hailsham:

“For instance, whilst it would certainly not be enough to identify the culprit in a series of burglaries that he climbed in through a ground floor window, the fact that he left the same humorous limerick on the walls of the sitting room, or an esoteric symbol written in lipstick on the mirror, might well be enough.”  (And now you know how Dan Brown got his inspiration from. It was Lord Hailsham all along, that sneaky fella.) 

He continues:  “In a sex case, to adopt an example given in argument in the Court of Appeal, whilst a repeated homosexual act by itself might be quite insufficient to admit the evidence as confirmatory of identity or design, the fact that it was alleged to have been performed wearing the ceremonial head-dress of an Indian chief or other eccentric garb might well in appropriate circumstances suffice.”   

And I shall end with Lord Wilberforce’s take on buggery:

“…the perversions of yesterday may be the routine or the fashion of tomorrow.” 

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