R. v. O'Brien – Declarations against Penal Interest as an Exception to the Hearsay Rule
Law of Evidence, judicial decision, declarations, penal interest, hearsay rule, exception
The development of the law of Evidence has evolved primarily by judicial decision into a system which cannot be rationally put together in a logical whole. The rules developed in myriads of cases which later judges believed bound them by virtue of the doctrine of stare decisis, and which also demanded that they avoid the absurdities or injustices which the simple application of these rules would produce. In their efforts to avoid this problem, judges have created refinements and exceptions to the earlier rules. In recent times the courts have even occasionally departed from previous decisions with a clear statement to this effect. Despite these innovative departures, the court can only apply a bandage to a system which needs a major operation.'
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C. Beckton, “R. v. O'Brien – Declarations against Penal Interest as an Exception to the Hearsay Rule”, Comment, (1977-1978) 4:3 DLJ 813.