(Jersey) Law 2003
A LAW to provide for the
admissibility of hearsay evidence and the proof of certain documentary evidence
in civil proceedings; and for connected purposes.
Commencement [see endnotes]
In this Law –
“civil proceedings” means civil proceedings before any
“court” means any tribunal in relation to which the
strict rules of evidence apply, whether as a matter of law or by agreement of
“document” means anything in which information of any
description is recorded, and “copy”, in relation to a document,
means anything onto which information recorded in the document has been copied,
by whatever means and whether directly or indirectly;
“hearsay” means a statement made otherwise than by a
person while giving oral evidence in the proceedings which is tendered as
evidence of the matters stated, and references to hearsay include hearsay of
“oral evidence” includes evidence which, by reason of a
defect of speech or hearing, a person called as a witness gives in writing or
“original statement”, in relation to hearsay evidence,
means the underlying statement (if any) by –
the case of evidence of fact, a person having personal knowledge of that fact;
the case of evidence of opinion, the person whose opinion it is;
“statement” means any representation of fact or opinion,
(1) Subject to paragraph (2)
this Law applies to any civil proceedings begun on or after 1st February 2005.
(2) This Law shall apply to
civil proceedings begun before 1st February 2005 if –
parties to those proceedings so agree; and
court so consents.
of hearsay evidence
(1) Evidence shall not be
excluded on the ground that it is hearsay.
(2) Nothing in this Law
affects the admissibility of evidence admissible apart from this Article.
(3) Articles 4 to 8 do
not apply to hearsay evidence admissible apart from this Article even if it may
also be admissible by virtue of this Article.
of proposal to adduce hearsay evidence
(1) Subject to the
following provisions of this Article, a party proposing to adduce hearsay
evidence in civil proceedings shall give to the other party or parties to those
notice (if any) of that proposal; and
so requested, such particulars of or relating to the evidence,
as is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances to enable that
party or parties to deal with matters arising from the fact that evidence is
(2) Rules of Court
classes of proceedings or evidence in relation to which paragraph (1) does
not apply; and
provision as to the manner in which (including the time within which) the
duties imposed by that paragraph are to be complied with in the cases where it
(3) The parties to the
proceedings may exclude paragraph (1) by agreement and a party may waive
any requirement for notice to be given to him or her.
(4) A failure to comply
with paragraph (1), or with Rules of Court under paragraph (2)(b),
does not affect the admissibility of the evidence but the court may take into
account such failure –
considering the exercise of its powers with respect to the course of
proceedings and costs; and
(b) as a
matter adversely affecting the weight to be given to the evidence in accordance
with Article 6.
to call witness for cross-examination on hearsay statement
Rules of Court may provide that where a party adduces hearsay
evidence of a statement made by a person and does not call that person as a
witness, any other party to the proceedings may, with the leave of the court,
call that person as a witness and cross-examine that person on the statement as
if that person had been called by the first-mentioned party and as if the
hearsay statement were that person’s evidence in chief.
relevant to weighing of hearsay evidence
(1) In estimating the
weight (if any) to be given to hearsay evidence the court shall have regard to
any circumstances from which any inference can reasonably be drawn as to the
reliability or otherwise of the evidence.
(2) Regard may be had, in
particular, to the following –
it would have been reasonable and practicable for the party by whom the
evidence was adduced to have produced the maker of the original statement as a
the original statement was made contemporaneously with the occurrence or
existence of the matters stated;
the evidence involves multiple hearsay;
any person involved had any motive to conceal or misrepresent matters;
the original statement was an edited account, or was made in collaboration with
another or for a particular purpose;
the circumstances in which the evidence is adduced as hearsay are such as to
suggest an attempt to prevent proper evaluation of its weight.
(1) Hearsay evidence shall
not be admitted if or to the extent that it is shown to consist of, or to be
proved by means of, a statement made by a person who was not competent as a
witness at the time he or she made the statement.
(2) For the purposes of
paragraph (1) –
competent as a witness” means suffering from such mental or physical
infirmity, or lack of understanding, as would render a person incompetent as a
witness in civil proceedings; but
child shall be treated as competent as a witness if, in the opinion of the
court the child understands that it is his or her duty to speak the truth and
the child has sufficient understanding to justify his or her evidence being
(3) Where hearsay evidence
is adduced and the maker of the original statement, or of any statement relied
upon to prove another statement, is not called as a witness –
which, if he or she had been so called, would be admissible for the purpose of
attacking or supporting his or her credibility as a witness is admissible for
that purpose in the proceedings; and
tending to prove that, whether before or after he or she made the statement, he
or she made any other statement inconsistent with it is admissible for the
purpose of showing that he or she had contradicted himself or herself.
(4) Despite paragraph (3),
evidence may not be given of any matter of which, if the maker of the original
statement, or of any statement relied upon to prove another statement, had been
called as a witness and had denied that matter in cross-examination, evidence
could not have been adduced by the cross-examining party.
statements of witnesses
(1) Subject to the
following provisions of this Article, the provisions of this Law as to hearsay
evidence apply equally (but with any necessary modifications) in relation to a
previous statement made by a person called as a witness in the proceedings.
(2) A party who has called
or intends to call a person as a witness in civil proceedings may not in those
proceedings adduce evidence of a previous statement made by that person,
the leave of the court; or
the purpose of rebutting a suggestion that his or her evidence has been
(3) Paragraph (2)
shall not be construed as preventing a written statement of oral evidence which
a party to the proceedings intends to lead, from being adopted by a witness in
giving evidence or treated as his or her evidence.
(4) Where any enactment or
rule of law makes provision as to –
far a witness may be discredited by the party producing the witness;
proof of contradictory statements made by a witness; and
as to previous statements in writing,
this Law does not authorize the adducing of evidence of a previous
inconsistent or contradictory statement otherwise than in accordance with such
enactment or rule.
(5) Paragraph (4) is
without prejudice to any provision made by Rules of Court under Article 5.
(6) Nothing in this Law
affects any rule of law as to the circumstances in which, where a person called
as a witness is cross-examined on a document used by the person to refresh his
or her memory, that document may be made evidence in the proceedings.
(7) Nothing in this Article
shall be construed as preventing a statement of any description referred to in
this Article from being admissible by virtue of Article 3 as evidence of
the matters stated.
admissible at customary law
(1) The rule of law whereby
in civil proceedings an admission adverse to a party to the proceedings,
whether made by that party or by another person, may be given in evidence
against that party for the purpose of proving any fact stated in the admission
(2) Any rule of law whereby
in civil proceedings –
works dealing with matters of a public nature (for example, histories,
scientific works, dictionaries and maps) are admissible as evidence of facts of
a public nature stated in them;
documents (for example, public registers, and returns made under public
authority with respect to matters of public interest) are admissible as
evidence of facts stated in them; or
(for example, Acts of Court, treaties and commissions) are admissible as
evidence of facts stated in them,
shall continue to have effect.
(3) Any rule of law whereby
in civil proceedings –
of a person’s reputation is admissible for the purpose of proving the
person’s good or bad character; or
of reputation or family tradition is admissible –
(i) for the purpose
of proving or disproving pedigree or the existence of a marriage, or
the purpose of proving or disproving the existence of any public or general
right or of identifying any person or thing,
shall continue to have effect in so far as it authorizes the court
to treat such evidence as proving or disproving that matter.
(4) Where any rule referred
to in paragraph (3) applies, reputation or family tradition shall be treated
for the purposes of this Law as a fact and not as a statement or multiplicity
of statements about the matter in question.
(5) The words in which a
rule of law mentioned in this Article is described are intended only to
identify the rule and shall not be construed as altering it in any way.
9A Withdrawal of privilege
against incrimination of self or spouse or civil partner in proceedings
relating to intellectual property
(1) Notwithstanding Article 9(1),
in any proceedings to which this paragraph applies a person shall not be
excused, by reason that to do so would tend to expose that person, or his or
her spouse or civil partner, to proceedings for a related offence or for the
recovery of a related penalty –
(a) from answering any questions put to that person in the
first-mentioned proceedings; or
(b) from complying with any order made in those proceedings.
(2) Paragraph (1)
applies to the following civil proceedings in the Royal Court,
(a) proceedings for infringement of rights pertaining to any
intellectual property or for passing off;
(b) proceedings brought to obtain disclosure of information relating
to any infringement of such rights or to any passing off; and
(c) proceedings brought to prevent any apprehended infringement of
such rights or any apprehended passing off,
where those proceedings began on or after the day this Article came
(3) Subject to paragraph (4),
no statement or admission made by a person –
(a) in answering a question put to him in any proceedings to which paragraph (1) applies; or
(b) in complying with any order made in any such proceedings,
shall, in proceedings for any related offence or for the recovery of
any related penalty, be admissible in evidence against that person or (unless
they married after the making of the statement or admission) against the spouse
of that person.
(4) Nothing in paragraph (3)
shall render any statement or admission made by a person as there mentioned
inadmissible in evidence against that person in proceedings for perjury or contempt
this Article –
“intellectual property” means –
patent, trade mark or registered design;
within the meaning of Part 1 of the Intellectual Property
(Unregistered Rights) (Jersey) Law 2011; and
right conferred by Part 2, 3, 4 or 5 of the Intellectual Property
(Unregistered Rights) (Jersey) Law 2011 that is equivalent to
right, within the meaning of Part 7 of the Intellectual Property
(Unregistered Rights) (Jersey) Law 2011,
and any other technical or commercial information or other
“related offence”, in relation to any proceedings to
which paragraph (1) applies, means –
(a) in the case of proceedings within paragraph (2)(a) or (b) –
(i) any offence
committed by or in the course of the infringement or passing off to which those
proceedings relate, or
offence not within sub-paragraph (i) committed in connection with that
infringement or passing off, being an offence involving fraud or dishonesty;
(b) in the case of proceedings within paragraph (2)(c), any offence revealed by the facts on which the plaintiff
relies in those proceedings;
“related penalty”, in relation to any proceedings to
which paragraph (1) applies means –
the case of proceedings within paragraph (2)(a) or (b), any penalty
incurred in respect of anything done or omitted in connection with the
infringement or passing off to which those proceedings relate;
(b) in the case of proceedings within paragraph (2)(c), any penalty incurred in respect of any act or omission
revealed by the facts on which the plaintiff relies in those proceedings.
(6) Any reference in this
Article to civil proceedings in the Royal Court of any description includes a
reference to proceedings on appeal arising out of such proceedings.
10 Proof of
statements contained in documents
Where a statement contained in a document is admissible as evidence,
it may be proved –
(a) by the production of
that document; or
(b) whether or not that document
is still in existence, by the production of a copy of that document (however
many copies away from the original) or of the material part of it,
authenticated in such manner as the court may approve.
11 Proof of records
of business or public authority
(1) A document which is
shown to form part of the records of a business or public authority may be
received in evidence without further proof.
(2) A document shall be
taken to form part of the records of a business or public authority if there is
produced to the court a certificate to that effect signed by an officer of the
business or authority to which the records belong.
(3) For the purposes of
paragraph (2) –
document purporting to be a certificate signed by an officer of a business or public
authority shall be deemed to have been duly given by such an officer and signed
by the officer; and
certificate shall be treated as signed by a person if it purports to bear a
facsimile of the person’s signature.
(4) The absence of an entry
in the records of a business or public authority may be proved by affidavit of
an officer of the business or authority to which the records belong.
(5) The court may, having
regard to the circumstances of the case, direct that all or any of the
provisions of this Article do not apply in relation to a particular document or
record, or description of documents or records.
(6) In this
“business” includes any activity regularly carried on
over a period of time, whether for profit or not, by any body (whether
corporate or not) or by an individual;
“officer” includes any person occupying a responsible
position in relation to the relevant activities of the business or public
authority or in relation to its records; and
“public authority” includes any public or parochial
authority, statutory undertaking, States department and person holding office
under the States or under Her Majesty;
“records” means records in whatever form.
12 Rules of Court
(1) The power of the Royal
Court to make Rules of Court under Article 13 of the Royal Court (Jersey)
Law 1948 shall include power to make such provision as may be necessary or
expedient for carrying this Law into effect.
(2) Rules of Court made for
the purposes of this Law in relation to proceedings in the Royal Court shall
apply to proceedings under the Arbitration (Jersey)
Law 1998 –
in so far as their operation is excluded by agreement; and
to such modifications as may be appropriate.
(3) Any question arising as
to what modifications are appropriate shall be determined, in default of
agreement, by the arbitrator.
(1) Nothing in this Law
affects the exclusion of evidence on grounds other than that it is hearsay,
whether the evidence falls to be excluded in pursuance of any enactment or rule
of law or for failure to comply with Rules of Court or an order of the court,
(2) Nothing in this Law
affects the proof of documents by means other than those specified in Article 10
This Law may be cited as the Civil Evidence (Jersey) Law 2003.