Dalhousie Law Journal


Discretion, trial judge, trial to exclude, otherwise admissible evidence, English judiciary, criminal trial, evidentiary law


The divers, and diverse, opinions of the English judiciary over the last quarter of a century as to the existence and scope of the discretion of a trial judge in a criminal trial to exclude evidence had created a state of uncertainty in this area of evidentiary law. That uncertainty has been largely dispelled by the recent decision of the House of Lords in R. v. Sang. The facts are these. Sang was charged with conspiracy to utter counterfeit American banknotes. On his arraignment he pleaded not guilty to the charge. Then, in the absence of the jury, his counsel alleged that Sang had been induced to commit the offence by an informer acting on the instruction of the police, and that, but for such inducement, he would not have committed the offence charged.