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HOW TO CONDUCT AN ENQUIRY (Part 5)

HEARSAY EVIDENCE

What is it?
It is evidence, oral/written, the probative value of which depends on the credibility of the person who said/wrote it.

What must a chairperson take into consideration?

The fact that the onus of proof is on a balance of probabilities;
Assess the nature of the evidence:
the motive behind the statement;
the length of time between the commission or omission to act and the making of the statement;
The degree of detail in the statement.
The purpose of the evidence iow does it assisting in closing the gaps?
The probative value of the evidence iow is it relevant?
Why can the person not give evidence in person? (remember its not hearsay if the person testifies at a later stage)
The prejudice to the other party as the evidence will be unchallenged.

What to do after you take the above into consideration?
Ask both parties if they agree for the hearsay evidence to be led.
You can provisionally agree to accept the evidence and leave it out of your consideration if the person does not testify.


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