What you need to prepare

You must produce evidence in support of your defence at your hearings. This is because the judge can only consider evidence presented in court.

During the trial, the judge will hear the evidence produced by you and the prosecution. The accuracy and credibility of both parties' evidence helps the judge determine what happened in the case, and if you are guilty of the charges against you.

Types of evidence

Evidence which can be presented in court by you or the prosecution, subject to the court's discretion, include:

  • Documents.
  • Photographs.
  • Items and objects.
  • Witness testimonies.
  • Sound and video recordings.
  • Digital records and computer printouts. This also includes social media sources such as Whatsapp and Facebook messages.

How to prepare your evidence

You should prepare your evidence in advance. This is important as the court may ask you to submit any evidence before the actual trial date.

Make copies of your evidence

For your evidence to be considered, you will need to bring to court:

  • The original evidence and 3 copies. The original copy will be submitted to the court, while each of the other copies will go you, the prosecution and your witness (if necessary).
  • The author of any document you plan to submit as evidence. Otherwise, the document may not be admitted as evidence for the trial.
    • You may apply for a Summons to a Witness (subpoena) if you are not sure whether the author of the document is willing to attend court.
Example

If you intend to rely on a letter from your company as evidence, the author is the person who signed off on the document. You will need to ask them to attend court to prove that they endorsed the document.

Presenting evidence in court

All documents, photographs, videos, reports and objects used as evidence must satisfy the requirements of the law to be admissible. You may refer to the Criminal Procedure Code and the Evidence Act for more information about admissibility of evidence in a criminal trial.

Tip

You may wish to compile a list of all the evidence you intend to show in court. This is also known as a list of exhibits.

Your list of exhibits should also indicate which witness will present each piece of evidence at the trial.

During your trial, each piece of evidence will be marked and formally admitted when it is your turn to give evidence. For example, you may tell the judge during your examination-in-chief, "Your Honour, I would like to admit these photographs as evidence." If the court decides to admit your evidence, a copy will be passed to the judge and all other parties.

The judge will then mark the evidence by naming it with a letter and a number. For example, the judge may say "This photograph of a lamppost is admitted and marked P1." Witnesses will also be identified in the same way, such as PW1 for a prosecution witness and DW1 for a defence (your) witness.

Tip

For easy identification, you should mark your copy of the evidence with the same letter and number as the court.

Bringing witnesses to court

A witness is a person who gives information, called testimony, about a case in court. All witnesses must tell the truth when giving their testimonies, and can be questioned by you and the prosecution.

Both you and the prosecution have a right to call witnesses to attend court on the trial dates. You can ensure all your witnesses attend your trial hearing by applying for a Summons to a Witness, also called a subpoena.

Before your trial, you may wish to prepare:

  • A list of witnesses you intend to call to court.
  • A list of questions to ask your own and the prosecution's witnesses.
2021/03/02

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