Volume 8 (2010)
Volume 3 (2005)
Most Downloaded Articles
- Comparative Observations on the Burden of Proof for Criminal Defences by Ho, Hock Lai
- Scientific Evidence in Europe -- Admissibility, Evaluation and Equality of Arms by Champod, Christophe and Vuille, Joëlle
- The Narrative Fallacy by Menashe, Doron and Shamash, Mutal E
- From Liberal Extremity to Safe Mainstream? The Comparative Controversies of Witness Preparation in the United States by Vasiliev, Sergey V.
- The Fourth Amendment's Exclusionary Rule: Blurring the Line Between Rule and Exception by Heffernan, Liz
Pass These Sirens By: Further Thoughts on Narrative and Admissibility Rules
Citation Information: International Commentary on Evidence. Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages –, ISSN (Online) 1554-4567, DOI: 10.2202/1554-4567.1057, August 2007
- Published Online:
Fact finders assess the relative plausibility of stories presented by comparing them to narratives which have gained general acceptance, some of which are hegemonic narratives. In doing so, they run the risk of choosing a narrative that does not accurately represent the historic truth of events in suit, as a narrative with which to compare the stories offered by parties. Once fact finders choose an inappropriate narrative, they may commit the narrative fallacy and choose to grant increased weight to evidence that coheres with the inappropriate narrative, and to disregard evidence that does not, rather than discard the narrative when subsequent evidence tends to show that it is inappropriate. Admission of prejudicial evidence may trigger the use of inappropriate narratives that are hegemonic, or at least prejudicial, leading to inaccurate fact finding. Seen in that light, despite arguments to the contrary made by Robert Burns and by Ronald Allen, further relaxation of admissibility rules towards a "free proof" system would be undesirable.