ADMITTING PRIOR INCONSISTENT STATEMENTS FOR THEIR TRUTH
AbstractPrior inconsistent statements made by a witness go to credibility only and are not admissible for their truth, unless adopted by the witness-that is the law in Canada. This article presents the case for reform. The rule excluding prior inconsistent statements for their truth is seen to be counter to prevailing principles and policies upon which the admission of evidence in criminal trials is based. Reform of the law has occurred in other countries and those reforms are examined for possible use in Canada. The article concludes by recommending a reform of the law that leaves a discretion with the trial judge to admit prior inconsistent statements for their truth, where the statements are seen to be both reliable and necessary.
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