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A Philosophy of Evidence Law: Justice in the Search for Truth (Oxford Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice) 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0199228300
ISBN-10: 0199228302
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Editorial Reviews


Ho's book A Philosophy of Evidence Law is an important contribution to this emerging body of literature at the interface between evidence scholarship and philosophy. This monograph is an excellent exemplar of this kind of interdisciplinary work, as it combines a deep understanding of the law of evidence with rigorous philosophical analysis, and it succeeds in showing the relevance of abstract theory to the detailed study of evidence rules and legal problems. The book is also to be commended for its breath of analysis, for it examines evidence rules of both criminal and civil law in several common law jurisdictions, with a foray into international law and continental law. Amaya, Amalia (2009) "The Ethics of Trial Deliberation: Moral Agency in Legal Fact-Finding," International Commentary on Evidence: Vol. 7 : Iss. 2, Article 2 Ho is admirably clear and eloquent in patiently setting out his stall and defending his thesis...It is compellingly written, and arguments are carefully cross-referenced. As a normative critique of the law of evidence, it deserves to take its place alongside recent well-known works such as Alex Stein's Foundations of Evidence Law...and Larry Laudan's Truth, Error, and Criminal Law...A Philosophy of Evidence Law: Justice in the Search for Truth is an impressive work of scholarship. Andrew L-T Choo, The Edinburgh Law Review, Volume 13, 2009 In summary the book embodies vast learning, makes many acute points, and in so doing has driven some of the piles preparatory to the task of bridging the gap between theory and practice in the law of evidence. Professor Colin Tapper, Law Quarterly Review, 2009 Ho's book is important and well worth study by evidence scholars and others interested in the morality and epistemology of legal fact-finding. William E. O'Brian Jr, The Modern Law Review 72 (1) This is a scholarly, well-researched and thought provoking work, providing an excellent introduction to the theoretical underpinnings of evidence law. Andrew C. Stumer, International Commentary on Evidence, Vol 6, Issue 1 Ho has written an erudite and timely text that lawyers and judges ought to consider reading to enhance the proper working of the judicial system, especially in the age of digital evidence Stephen Mason, ICLQ, Vol 58

About the Author

Ho Hock Lai is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore.

Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice
  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (May 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199228302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199228300
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.2 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,918,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
In "A Philosophy of Evidence law" (PEL) Ho endeavours to create a coherent account of the nature of facts, truth, and justice and the relation each has with the others. The reader will see, very quickly, when a fact may not be true, and when truth does not necessarily result in justice (as generally conceived). Written in the context of the courtroom, Ho describes the epistemological problems of discerning what facts are, and how they are proved. In the chapter "Epistemology of Legal Fact Finding", for example, Ho points out that many facts relevant in a trial are one-off events that are not going to happen again (the fact of John killing Mary. It makes one think beyond a common pratice - ascertaining a fact merely by an intuitive assessment based on the test of "the balance of probabilities". PEL scrutinizes two types of evidence, namely, "hearsay" and "similar fact" evidence. The author explains why such evidence invites suspicion, but he also explains why they can often be reliable. The question, therefore, leads to a deeper enquiry as to what a fact finder can do to ascertain facts reliably by means of such evidence.

In an ideal world, no lawyer should be allowed to practise, and no person should be allowed to judge without understanding the issues discussed in this book. The more clear-thinking and honest people learn to appreciate these matters, the closer we get to the ideal world. Lawyers will not be the only people who will appreciate this book. This book was not written in a dense or turgid style; on the contrary, it explicates very profound issues and arguments so clearly that the book should not discourage or frustrate a curious mind.
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A Philosophy of Evidence Law: Justice in the Search for Truth (Oxford Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice)
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