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A party’s ‘informal admission’ (or the accused’s ‘confession’ in the context of criminal proceedings) is an out-of-court statement made by that party which is adverse to his case. Such admissions have long been recognised as an exception to the hearsay rule and are thus admissible to prove the truth of the matters stated. Confessions tendered by the prosecution are now governed by s. 76 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (‘PACE’), while in civil proceedings informal admissions are admissible by virtue of s. 1(1) of the Civil Evidence Act 1995. A confession or an informal admission is not conclusive evidence of any fact admitted, however, and the party who made it may adduce other evidence at the trial to show why it should not be relied on. It is with informal admissions and confessions that this chapter is concerned.
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