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Evidence Commons

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Michigan Law Review

1998

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Full-Text Articles in Evidence

An Outsider's View Of Common Law Evidence, Roger C. Park May 1998

An Outsider's View Of Common Law Evidence, Roger C. Park

Michigan Law Review

same line by a Newton. There have been improvements since Bentham's jeremiad. But Anglo-American evidence law is still puzzling. It rejects the common-sense principle of free proof in favor of a grotesque jumble of technicalities. It has the breathtaking aspiration of regulating inference by rule, causing it to exalt the foresight of remote rulemakers over the wisdom of on-the-spot adjudicators. It departs from tried-and-true practices of rational inquiry, as when it prohibits courts from using categories of evidence that are freely used both in everyday life and in the highest affairs of state. Sometimes it seems to fear dim ...