Best-Evidence Rule

Best evidence rule

Definition of Best evidence rule

: a rule of evidence: in order to prove what is said or pictured in a writing, recording, or photograph the original must be provided unless the original is lost, destroyed, or otherwise unobtainable

Best evidence refers to a rule of evidence that requires an original of a writing, recording, or photograph in order to prove its content. Where the best evidence rule applies, copies of the original will not be accepted unless it can be shown that the original is unavailable due to no fault of the party offering the evidence. This operates as a rule of exclusion. When the original is not available, other evidence, like copies, notes, or other testimony can be used.

See Also

Acoustical Evidence
Adequate Evidence
Adminicular Evidence
Admissible Evidence
Adversary Evidence
Advice on Evidence
After Acquired Evidence
After-Discovered Evidence
Anecdotal Evidence
Antitrust Evidence

See also

A regulation that requires a person who testifies in court seeking to… (Read more)

What does Best Evidence Rule mean in American Law?

The definition of Best Evidence Rule in the law of the United States, as defined by the lexicographer Arthur Leff in his legal dictionary is:

The traditional (and dangerously misleading) name of the law-of-evidence doctrine now also called the original document rule.

English Legal System: Best-Evidence Rule

In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Best-Evidence Rule : A rule requiring that a party must call the best evidence that the nature of the case will allow. Formerly of central importance, in modern law it is largely confined to a rule of practice, not a requirement of law, that the original of a private document must be produced in order to prove its contents; if it cannot be produced its absence must be explained.



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