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Ar the Parliament begun and holden at Westminster, on
Being the FOURTH Session of the FIFTEENTH Parliament of the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Law Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty.
Anno Domini, 1855.
ANNO DECIMO-QUARTO & DECIMO-QUINTO
An Act to amend the Law of Evidence.
[7th August, 1851.] HEREAS it is expedient to amend the Law of Evidence
in divers Particulars : Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in ihis present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows :
I. So much of Section One of the Act of the Sixth and Recited Pro Seventh Years of Her present Majesty, Chapter Eighty-five, as viso in s. 1:
of 6 & 7 Vict. provides that the said Act shall “ not render competent any C. S.. “ Party to any Suit, Action, or Proceeding individually named « in the Record, or any Lessor of the plaintiff, or Tenant of repealed. “ Premises sought to be recovered in Ejecimient, or the Land“ lord or other Person in whose Right any Defendant in “ Replevin may make Cognizance, or any person in whose "iminediate and individual Behalf any Action may be brought “ or defended, either wholly or in part,” is hereby repealed.
II. On the Trial of and Issue joined, or of any Matter or Parties to be Question, or on any Inquiry arising in any Suit, Action, or admissible other Proceeding in any Court of Justice, or before any Person
Wimessee. having by Law, or by Consent of Parties, Authority to hear, receive, and examine Evidence', the Parties thereto, and the Persons in whose Behalf any such Suit, Action, or other Proceeding may be brought or defended, shall, except as hereinafter excepted, be competent and compellable to give Evidence, either vivů voce or by Deposition, according to the Practice of the Court, on behalf of either or any of the Parties to the said Suit, Action, or other Proceeding.
III. But nothing herein contained shall render any Person Nothing who in any criminal Proceeding is charged with the Commis- herein to sion of any indictable Offence, or any Offence punishable on
Law of Evidence Amendment.
son charged summary Conviction, competent or Compellable to give Eviwith criminal dence for or against himself or herself, or shall render any give Evi- Person compellable to answer any Question tending to dence tend- inate himself or herself, or shall in any criminal Proceeding ing to criminate
render any Husband competent or compellable to give Evidence himself, &e. for or against his Wife, or any Wife competent or compellable
to give Evidence for or against her Husband. Not to apply IV. Nothing herein contained shall apply to any Action, to Proceedings in con- Suit, Proceeding, or Bill in any Court of Common Law, or in sequence of
any Ecclesiastical Court, or in either House of Parliament, Adultery, instituted in consequence of Adultery, or to any Action for
Breach of Promise of Marriage.
Nothing to V. Nothing herein contained shall repeal any Provision conrepeal any tained in Chapter Twenty-six of the Statute passed in the Provisions of 7 W. 4, &
Session of Parliament holden in the Seventh Year of the Reign 1 Vict. c. 26. of King William the Fourth and the First Year of the Reign of
Her Present Majesty.
Common VI. Whenever any Action or other legal Proceeding shall Law Courts henceforth be pending in any of the Superior Courts of Comto compel
mon Law at Westminster or Dublin, or ihe Court of Common
of Pleas for the County Palatine of Lancaster, or the Court of Documents whenever
Pleas for the County of Durham, such Court and each of the Equity would Judges thereof may respectively, on Application made for such grant Dis
Purpose by either of the Litigants, compel the opposite Party covery.
to allow the Party making the Application to inspect all Documents in the Custody or under the Control of such opposite Party relating to such Action or other legal Proceeding, and, if necessary, to take examined Copies of the same, or to procure the same to be duly stamped, in all Cases in which previous to the passing of this Act a Discovery might have been obtained by filing a Bill or by any other Proceeding in a Court of Equity at the Instance of the Party so making Application as aforesaid to the said Court or Judge.
Foreign and VII. All Proclamations, Treaties, and other Acts of State of Colonial Acts
any Foreign State or of any British Colony, and all Judgments, of State, Judgments,
Decrees, Orders, and other judicial Proceedings of any Court &c. provable of Justice in any Foreign State or in any Brilish Colony, and by certified Copies, with
all Affidavits, Pleadings and other legal Documents filed or out Proof of deposited in any such Court, may be proved in any Court of Seal or Sig- . Justice, or before any person having by law or by Consent of judicial Cha. Parties Authority to hear, receive, and examine Evidence, racter of either by examined copies or by Copies authenticated as herePerson sign- in-aster mentioned ; that is to say, if the Document sought to ing the saroe.
be proved be a Proclamation, Treaty, or other Act of State, the authenticated Copy to be admissible in Evidence must purport
Law of Evidence Amendment.
to be sealed with the Seal of the Foreign State or British Cocoy to which the original Document belongs ; and if the Docutoes' sought to be proved be a Judgment, Decree, Order, or other judicial Proceeding of any Foreign or Colonial Court, or an Affidavit, Pleading, or other legal Document filed or deposited in any such Court, the authenticated Copy to be admissible in Evidence must purport either to be sealed with the Seal of the Foreign or Colonial Court to which the original Document belongs, or, in the event of such Court having no Seal, to be signed by the Judge, or, if there be more than one Judge, by any One of the Judges of the said Court, and such Judge shall attach to his Signature a Statement in Writing on the said Copy that the Court whereof he is a Judge has no Seal ; but if any of the aforesaid authenticated Copies shall purport to be sealed or signed as hereinbefore respectively directed, the same shall respectively be admitted in Evidence in every Case, in which the original Document could have been received in Evidence, without any Proof of the Seal where a Seal is necessary, or of the Signature, or of the Truth of the Statement attached thereto, where such Signature and Statement are necessary, or of the judicial Character of the Person appearing to have made such Signature and Statement.
VIII. Every Certificate of the Qualification of an Apothecary Apothecaries' which shall purport to be under the Common Seal of the Society Certificates of the Art and Mystery of Apothecaries of the City of London admissible shall be received in Evidence in any Court of Justice, and without before any Person having by Law or by Consent of Parties Seal. Authority to hear, receive, and examine Evidence, without any Proof of the said Seal or of the Authenticity of the said Certificate, and shall be deemed sufficient Proof that the Person named therein has been from the Date of the said Certificate duly qualified to practise as an Apothecary in any part of England or Wales.
IX. Every Document which by any Law now in force or Documents hereafter to be in force is or shall be admissible in Evidence of admissible any Particular in any Court of Justice in England or Wales
Proof of without Proof of the Seal or Stamp or Signature authenticating Seal, &c. the same, or of the judicial or official Character of the Person in England appearing to have signed the same, shall be admitted in Evi
or Wales dence to the same Extent and for the same Purposes in any missible in
equally adCourt of Justice in Ireland, or before any person having in Ireland. Ireland by Law or by Consent of Parties Authority to hear, receive, and examine Evidence, without Proof of the Seal or Stamp or Signature authenticating the same, or of the judicial or official Character of the Person appearing to have signed the same.