rules of evidence | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction / Evidence Law

The rules of evidence are the set of legal principles and guidelines that govern the admissibility of evidence in a court of law.

These rules determine what types of evidence can be presented to a jury, how that evidence can be obtained, and how it can be used to prove or disprove facts in a case. The rules also establish procedures for the introduction and examination of evidence and set standards for the authenticity, reliability, and relevance of evidence.

The rules vary depending on the jurisdiction and the type of case, but some general principles apply in most legal systems. For example, they generally require that evidence be relevant to the case and that it be legally obtained and properly authenticated. The rules also establish the criteria for the admissibility of various types of evidence, such as eyewitness testimony, physical evidence, and expert testimony. Additionally, they provide for the exclusion of evidence that is unfairly prejudicial or that would have a tendency to mislead the jury.

In the United States, the Federal Rules and the rules in each state guide the handling of evidence in federal and state courts, respectively.

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Last Modified: 04/18/2023


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