Weighing Evidence - Chapter 5: Factors To Consider In Weighing Evidence


5.1.  GENERAL PRINCIPLE

The reliability of evidence should be determined in light of all of the circumstances/evidence of the particular case. The factors to be considered in weighing evidence are basically a matter of common sense.

The Factors Listed Here And Elsewhere In The Paper Are Not Meant To Be Exhaustive.

5.1.1.  Some Factors That May be Considered

  • the circumstances surrounding the making of the statement
  • any information about the person who made the statement
  • how many times the information was passed on before being made known to the witness
  • the consistency of the statement with other reliable evidence
  • the witness' opportunity to observe the events regarding which she testifies
  • the circumstances surrounding the event
  • whether there is better evidence available and whether a reason was provided for not producing that evidence
  • whether the witness is drawing reasonable inferences or is simply speculating
  • whether the evidence is consistent with reliable documentary/ other evidence
  • whether the evidence is self-serving
  • the circumstances under which a document was created
  • the opportunity to cross-examine the author of a document
  • whether some of the witness' evidence has been found not to be credible
  • whether the witness is disinterested in the result
  • whether the witness is biased
  • the witness' qualifications and knowledge of the subject regarding which she testifies
  • attitude and demeanour of a witness
  • knowledge and expertise of author of a document and the date of the document.