EVIDENCE

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Evidence is the means by which a fact, written or said, can be proved or disproved allegations made especially in disputes or arguments. Evidence includes statements by accused persons, admissions and observations by a court in a given trial.

In criminal cases, the burden of proof is always on the prosecution. The prosecution is required by law to prove its case by way of evidence beyond reasonable doubt that an accused person committed the offense as alleged. In civil cases, the burden of proof is on a balance of probability. The court considers whether the evidence presented by a party in a case is in all likelihood the truth. Credible, sufficient facts, make up good evidence that would easily prove an allegation.

Oral evidence is on account of what was heard and seen. Evidence is orally submitted in a court of law. Oral evidence should be first-hand information, the source should have perceived it, otherwise, that is hearsay which isn’t admissible in a case.

A fact written or said that’s ascertaining a point of argument from what was and/or put down on paper is termed Written/documentary evidence. It is considered primary evidence and is explained by way of oral explanations. It backs up oral evidence.

Electronic evidence is anything captured in electronic format, for instance, CCTV and mobile phone video recordings.

To successfully submit electronic evidence collected and captured through CCTV cameras, phone recordings or other forms of electronic production, a certificate of production is required.  This document is obtained after doing the recording. It should be primary evidence. It basically acknowledges the audio-visual source, the person recording it was present at the scene at the time a crime or action was actively taking place. It also ascertains that the video was a first-hand recording and not received or forwarded to the claimant from other quarters. Forwarded material is deemed hearsay.

All types of evidence complement the others, none is superior or inferior to the other.

Evidence obtained in a manner that is inconsistent with the Constitution and Kenyan laws cannot be accepted or admitted in a case. Unless it can be shown that it would render a trial unfair or would interfere with the administration of justice, illegally obtained evidence is admissible in a court of law as long as it is relevant to the facts of a case.

In a criminal trial, new evidence can be introduced at any stage in a trial process as long as the other party in the dispute has not been put to their defense.  This timing allows for rebuttal. There are exceptional cases where additional evidence may be received at the first appeal stage so long as its value is demonstrated and the court allows its production. The opposing party has to be given an opportunity for rebuttal.

Equipping oneself with good legal representation, good preparation and loads of evidence for a case in a court of law doesn’t guarantee automatic success in a dispute. It is recommended that evidence must be credible, verifiable and sufficient to be admissible in a court of law.

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