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A Critical Study on Admissibility of Evidence

  • DONG-A LAW REVIEW
  • 2010, (48), pp.397-419
  • Publisher : The Institute for Legal Studies Dong-A University
  • Research Area : Social Science > Law

Jin-Kyung Song 1

1동의대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The Korean Criminal Procedure Law Article 318, Clause 1 stipulates ‘Agreement of Parties and Probative Value of Evidence’ as an exception to the Hearsay Rule, this permits documents or objects on which the public prosecutor and the defendant agree to be used as evidence. Hearsay is a statement based on what has been reported to a witness by others rather than what they themselves saw. Thus, cross-examination on hearsay is impossible. This is why hearsay to be used as criminal evidence is not permitted in principle. Nevertheless, the legislators established Article 318 of ‘Agreement of Parties and Probative Value of Evidence’ because they intended to realize economical criminal procedure. The Korean society in 1954 turned into a wilderness of cinders and ashes by colonial government of Japanese imperialism and Korean War. In view of these circumstances, the legislators formed the Korean Criminal Procedure Law to use various kinds of documents. The criminal procedures of Britain and the United States has realized substantial evidential justice by presenting proofs including murder weapon and pictures of the scene of the crime, investigation officer's or other eye witness's testimony, opinions of experts, for example, psychologists, physician, etc. However, The criminal procedure of Korea has been a perfunctory evidential justice based on documents including prosecutors' interrogation dossiers. The prerequisite condition to exercise a punishing authority is to find facts constituting an offense by evidences. Article 307 of ‘Principle of Evidential Justice’ stipulates that criminal facts shall be proved to the extent that there is no reasonable doubt. Above all, to use a material as evidence, a material has to be eligible for admissibility of evidence. It is important to judge whether a material has qualification as evidence because it is possible to judge whether the defendant is guilty or not from evidence. Therefore, we have to interpret that the defendant does not agree to give admissibility for evidence if it is doubtful whether the defendant agree or not.

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