Civil Evidence (Scotland) Act 1988

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1988 c. 32


Civil Evidence (Scotland)Act 1988

1988 CHAPTER 32

An Act to make fresh provision in relation to civil proceedings in Scotland regarding corroboration of evidence and the admissibility of hearsay and other evidence; and for connected purposes.

[29th July 1988]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Rule requiring corroboration abolished.

1 Rule requiring corroboration abolished.

(1) In any civil proceedings the court or, as the case may be, the jury, if satisfied that any fact has been established by evidence in those proceedings, shall be entitled to find that fact proved by that evidence notwithstanding that the evidence is not corroborated.

(2) Any rule of law whereby any evidence may be taken to be corroborated by a false denial shall cease to have effect.

S-2 Admissibility of hearsay.

2 Admissibility of hearsay.

(1) In any civil proceedings—

(a) evidence shall not be excluded solely on the ground that it is hearsay;

(b) a statement made by a person otherwise than in the course of the proof shall be admissible as evidence of any matter contained in the statement of which direct oral evidence by that person would be admissible; and

(c) the court, or as the case may be the jury, if satisfied that any fact has been established by evidence in those proceedings, shall be entitled to find that fact proved by the evidence notwithstanding that the evidence is hearsay.

(2) Nothing in this section shall affect the admissibility of any statement as evidence of the fact that the statement was made.

(3) In paragraph (e) of section 5 of the Court of Session Act 1988 (power to make provision as regards the Court of Session for admission of written statements etc. in lieu of parole evidence), for the words ‘the admission in lieu of parole evidence of written statements (including affidavits) and reports, on such conditions as may be prescribed’ there shall be substituted the words ‘written statements (including affidavits) and reports, admissible under section 2(1)(b) of the Civil Evidence (Scotland) Act 1988, to be received in evidence, on such conditions as may be prescribed, without being spoken to by a witness’.

(4) For paragraph (e) of section 32(1) of the Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1971 (corresponding power to make provision as regards the sheriff court) there shall be substituted the following paragraph—

‘(e) providing in respect of any category of civil proceedings for written statements (including affidavits) and reports, admissible under section 2(1)(b) of the Civil Evidence (Scotland) Act 1988, to be received in evidence, on such conditions as may be prescribed, without being spoken to by a witness;’.

S-3 Statement as evidence as to credibility.

3 Statement as evidence as to credibility.

3. In any civil proceedings a statement made otherwise than in the course of the proof by a person who at the proof is examined as to the statement shall be admissible as evidence in so far as it tends to reflect favourably or unfavourably on that person's credibility.

S-4 Leading of additional evidence.

4 Leading of additional evidence.

(1) For the purposes of section 2 or 3 above, any person may at the proof, with leave of the court, at any time before the commencement of closing submissions—

(a) be recalled as a witness whether or not he has been present in court since giving evidence initially; or

(b) be called as an additional witness whether or not he has been present in court during the proof (or during any other part of the proceedings).

(2) Nothing in section 3 of the Evidence (Scotland) Act 1840 (presence in court not to disqualify witnesses in certain cases) shall apply as respects a witness called or recalled under subsection (1) above.

S-5 Document as part of business records.

5 Document as part of business records.

(1) Unless the court otherwise directs, a document may in any civil proceedings be taken to form part of the records of a business or undertaking if it is certified as such by a docquet purporting to be signed by an officer of the business or undertaking to which the records belong; and a statement contained in any document certified as aforesaid may be received in evidence without being spoken to by a witness.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a facsimile of a signature shall be treated as a signature.

S-6 Production of copy document.

6 Production of copy document.

(1) For the purposes of any civil proceedings, a copy of a document, purporting to be authenticated by a person responsible for the making of the copy, shall, unless the court otherwise directs, be—

(a) deemed a true copy; and

(b) treated for evidential purposes as if it were the document itself.

(2) In subsection (1) above, ‘copy’ includes a transcript or reproduction.

(3) Sections 3 to 5 of the Bankers' Books Evidence Act 1879 (mode of proof of entries in bankers' books, proof that book is a bankers' book and verification of copy of entry in such a book) shall not apply to civil proceedings.

S-7 Statement not contained in business records.

7 Statement not contained in business records.

(1) In any civil proceedings, the evidence of an officer of a business or undertaking that any particular statement is not contained in the records of the business or undertaking shall be admissible as evidence of that fact whether or not the whole or any part of the records have been produced in the proceedings.

(2) The evidence referred to in subsection (1) above may, unless the court otherwise directs, be given by means of the affidavit of the officer.

(3) In section 6 of the Bankers' Books Evidence Act 1879 (case in which banker not compellable to produce book), after the word ‘Act’ there shall be inserted the words ‘or under the Civil Evidence (Scotland) Act 1988’.

S-8 Evidence in actions concerning family relationships, etc.

8 Evidence in actions concerning family relationships, etc.

(1) In any action to which this subsection applies (whether or not appearance has been entered for the defender), no decree or judgment in favour of the pursuer shall be pronounced until the grounds of action have been established by evidence.

(2) Subsection (1) above applies to actions for divorce, separation or declarator of marriage, nullity of...

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