Circumstantial Evidence in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Jsc Bta Bank (Respondent / Claimant) v Mukhtar Ablyazov
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 06 Nov 2012

    It is, however, the essence of a successful case of circumstantial evidence that the whole is stronger than individual parts. That is why a jury is often directed to avoid piecemeal consideration of a circumstantial case: R v. Hillier (2007) 233 ALR 63 (HCA), cited in Archbold 2012 at para 10–3. Or, as Lord Simon of Glaisdale put it in R v. Kilbourne [1973] AC 729 at 758, The matter is well put in Shepherd v. The Queen (1990) 170 CLR 573 (HCA) at 579/580 (but also passim):

  • Bally Sheng Balson v The State
    • Privy Council
    • 02 Feb 2005

    But their Lordships are of the opinion that a good character direction would have made no difference to the result in this case. In these circumstances the issues about the appellant's propensity to violent conduct and his credibility, as to which a good character reference might have been of assistance, are wholly outweighed by the nature and coherence of the circumstantial evidence.

  • McGreevy v DPP
    • House of Lords
    • 01 Feb 1973

    In presenting his most careful and lucid argument Counsel formulated his proposition of law in somewhat varied terms as follows:—That in a criminal trial in which the prosecution case, or any essential ingredient thereof, depends, as to the commission of the act, entirely on circumstantial evidence, it is the duty of the trial judge, in addition to giving the usual direction that the prosecution must prove the case beyond reasonable doubt, to explain to the jury in terms appropriate to the case being tried that this direction means that they must not convict on circumstantial evidence unless they are satisfied that the facts proved are ( a) consistent with the guilt of the accused and ( b) exclude every reasonable explanation other than the guilt of the accused.

    It requires no more than ordinary commonsense for a jury to understand that if one suggested inference from an accepted piece of evidence leads to a conclusion of guilt and another suggested inference to a conclusion of innocence a jury could not on that piece of evidence alone be satisfied of guilt beyond all reasonable doubt unless they wholly rejected and excluded the latter suggestion.

    In my view, it would be undesirable to lay it down as a rule which would bind Judges that a direction to a jury in cases where circumstantial evidence is the basis of the prosecution case must be given in some special form provided always that in suitable terms it is made plain to a jury that they must not convict unless they are satisfied of guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. The issue before the jury was whether it was the Appellant or whether it was someone else who killed the deceased.

  • R v Kilbourne
    • House of Lords
    • 31 Ene 1973

    Corroboration is therefore nothing other than evidence which "confirms" or "supports" or "strengthens" other evidence (Lord Morris of Borth-y-Gest, pp. 919H-920A; Lord Pearson, p. 925F; Lord Diplock pp. 927C, 928G). It is, in short, evidence which renders other evidence more probable. If so, there is no essential difference between, on the one hand, corroboration and, on the other, "supporting evidence" or "evidence which helps to determine the truth of the matter".

  • R v Goring (Curtis)
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 13 Ene 2011

    As to the primary ground of appeal, the traditional approach identified by Lord Lane CJ in R v. Galbraith [1981] 1 WLR 1039 (if a reasonable jury properly directed could not on the evidence find the charge proved beyond reasonable doubt) concerned the weight to be attached to evidence implicating the defendant upon which the Crown relied.

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  • Naval Courts-Martial General Orders (Royal Navy) 1991
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1991
    ...... 4. Reference of charges to convening authority. . 5. The circumstantial letter. . 6. Statements of the accused. . 7. Charge sheet. . 8. Charge .... 9. The Charge. . 10. Amendment of charge sheet. . 11. Fresh evidence of negligence not alleged in circumstantial letter. . 12. Unfitness to ......
  • Naval Courts-Martial (Procedure) Order, 1957
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1957
    ...... through the usual channels a letter, hereinafter called the circumstantial letter, reporting the circumstances on which the charge or charges are ...(On evidence of negligence arising during the trial but not alleged in the ......
  • Naval Courts-Martial (Procedure) Order, 1953
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1953
    ...... through the usual channels a letter, hereinafter called the circumstantial letter, reporting the circumstances on which the charge or charges are .... (c) A summary of evidence in support of the charges. . And when the offender is below the rank of ......
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Books & Journal Articles
  • A fraud investigation plan for a false accounting and theft case
    • Núm. 26-4, Octubre 2019
    • Journal of Financial Crime
    • 1216-1228
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to formulate and propose a fraud investigation plan that forensic accountants can use to investigate financial frauds. In particular, the paper sets out the st...
    ...... ndings revealed that the case can be used to provide ins ights on evidence gathering techniques and testparticular models of fraud detection. The ... fodderon how to gather and triangulate both direct and circumstantial evidence that can be used to avoidmistrials in courts. Practical ......
  • Organizational socialization and ethical fit: a conceptual development by serendipity
    • Núm. 48-2, Marzo 2019
    • Personnel Review
    • 511-527
    Purpose: A significant and increasing number of graduate recruits take up employment for specific companies by virtue of their ethical reputation and profiles. As such, ethical fit has become an im...
    ...... by the paper ’ s conceptual model while pr oviding circumstantial evide nce for the propositions and their pr actical utility for HR ... ’ s conceptual contribution while providing circumstantial evidence for the propositions and their practical utility for HR management. The ......
  • Criminal state: understanding narcotics trafficking networks in North Korea
    • Núm. 26-4, Octubre 2019
    • Journal of Financial Crime
    • 1014-1026
    Purpose: In North Korea, illicit activities directly or implicitly supported by the North Korean Government are an integral part of the nation’s survival strategies. This study aims to discuss how ...
    ...... s academic research in this fi eld, news articles, circumstantialand forensic evidence, seizure data and defector testimony. Findings – This ......
  • Proving the Criminal Origin of Property in Money‐Laundering Prosecutions
    • Núm. 4-1, Marzo 2000
    • Journal of Money Laundering Control
    • 12-25
    A successful prosecution for a criminal offence requires a prosecuting authority to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant possessed the requisite mens rea, or mental state, and that at t...
    ...... s wil l usuall y b e base d o n circumstantia l evidence , whereb y a numbe r o f piece s o f evidenc e ar e adduced , ... tha t th e evidenc e agains t th e appellant s i s circumstantial : s o i t is , bu t circum - stantia l evidenc e i s ver y ofte n ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • National Bank Trust v Ilya Yurov: "a Ponzi scheme with a fancy name" – Proving Fraud in the English Courts
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    National Bank Trust v Ilya Yurov & Ors [2020] EWHC 100 (Comm) provides a useful insight to the English Court's approach to pleading and evidencing fraud, emphasising the importance of properly ...
    ...... the importance of properly particularised claims and documentary evidence. The English Court rightly adopts a rigorous approach to allegations of ...Circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial evidence is cumulative in nature and is ......
  • Fraudlent Claim - UK Insurance Ltd v Gentry
    • Mondaq UK
    ...... facts, with Teare J acknowledging that "There is rarely direct evidence of fraud. Where there is no direct evidence of fraud it can only be ed from circumstantial evidence", with particular assistance often being gained from ......
  • Contracts - Employee Entitled to Summary Judgment for Bonus Payment
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ...... for this sum without the court hearing all relevant circumstantial evidence. Further, it was suggested that the employee had, by his conduct, ......
  • Can An Employer Rely On An Anonymous Witness?
    • Mondaq UK
    ...The evidence of witnesses is often crucial to an investigation,. particularly in cases ...accuracy, any circumstantial evidence, and whether the witness has. suffered at the hands of the ......
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