A Legal Theory of Evidence and Proof: Justice in the Search for Truth

Hardcover | March 6, 2008

byH. L. Ho

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The dominant approach to evaluating the law on evidence and proof focuses on how the trial system should be structured to guard against error. This book argues instead that complex and intertwining moral and epistemic considerations come into view when departing from the standpoint of adetached observer and taking the perspective of the person responsible for making findings of fact. Ho contends that it is only by exploring the nature and content of deliberative responsibility that the role and purpose of much of the law can be fully understood. In many cases, values other thantruth have to be respected, not simply as side-constraints, but as values which are internal to the nature and purpose of the trial. A party does not merely have a right that the substantive law be correctly applied to objectively true findings of fact, and a right to have the case tried underrationally structured rules. The party has, more broadly, a right to a just verdict, where justice must be understood to incorporate a moral evaluation of the process which led to the outcome. Ho argues that there is an important sense in which truth and justice are not opposing considerations;rather, principles of one kind reinforce demands of the other. This book argues that the court must not only find the truth to do justice, it must do justice in finding the truth.

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The dominant approach to evaluating the law on evidence and proof focuses on how the trial system should be structured to guard against error. This book argues instead that complex and intertwining moral and epistemic considerations come into view when departing from the standpoint of adetached observer and taking the perspective of th...

Ho Hock Lai is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.02 inPublished:March 6, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199228302

ISBN - 13:9780199228300

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Trial Deliberation3. Truth, Justice, and Justification4. Epistemology of Legal Fact-Finding5. Standards of Proof6. Evidence of Bad Character7. Hearsay8. Conclusion