1. This section outlines what is meant by "hearsay" evidence, the application of the "rule against hearsay evidence" and the reasons why hearsay evidence is generally inadmissible. It also outlines the exceptions to the rule when hearsay evidence will be admitted.
2. An understanding of the law relating to hearsay evidence will be helpful to you when a prosecution is being undertaken. It will also be helpful to you when you are collecting evidence to prove an offence, as it will enable you to make a better assessment of whether the evidence that is available will be admitted in court.
3. You should not be deterred from gathering hearsay evidence because of the rule against hearsay as:
- hearsay evidence may further your investigation in other ways, such as assisting in our dual regulatory and enforcing role;
- the exceptions to the rule against hearsay are wide-ranging. Only once the investigation is complete will it be possible to make an informed assessment of whether the evidence may come within an exception.