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.
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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.