The Law of Evidence has traditionally been perceived as a dry, highly technical, and mysterious subject. This book argues that problems of evidence in law are closely related to the handling of evidence in other kinds of practical decision-making and other academic disciplines, that it is closely related to common sense and that it is an interesting, lively and accessible subject. These essays develop a readable, coherent historical and theoretical perspective about problems of proof, evidence, and inferential reasoning in law. Although each essay is self-standing, they are woven together to present a sustained argument for a broad inter-disciplinary approach to evidence in litigation, in which the rules of evidence play a subordinate, though significant, role. This revised and enlarged edition includes a revised introduction, the best-known essays in the first edition, and chapters on narrative and argumentation, teaching evidence, and evidence as a multi-disciplinary subject.
William Twining is Quain Professor of Juisprudence Emeritus at University College London, and a regular Visiting Professor at the University of Miami School of Law. His writings on evidence include Analysis of Evidence (2nd edn, Cambridge University Press 2005).
Preface; 1. Introduction: The story of a project; 2. Taking facts seriously; 3. The rationalist tradition of evidence scholarship; 4. Some scepticism about some scepticisms; 5. Identification and misidentification in legal processes: redefining the problem; 6. What is the law of evidence?; 7. Rethinking evidence; 8. Legal reasoning and argumentation; 9. Stories and argument; 10. Lawyers' stories; 11. Narrative and generalizations in argumentation about questions of fact; 12. Reconstructing the truth about Edith Thompson: the Shakespearean and the Jurist (with R. Weis); 13. The ratio decidendi of the parable of the prodigal son; 14. Taking facts seriously - again; 15. Evidence as a multi-disciplinary subject.