Relationship of Relevancy and Admissibility: The requirement admissibility is predicated on relevancy has led to the practice of treating the two as synonymous. This is not correct as there are distinctions between the two. This is not correct as there are distinctions between the two. Thus, in Director of public Prosecution v. Kilbourne, the English Court of Appeal, Per Lord Simon stated that:
“…the term relevancy and admissibility are frequently and in many circumstances legitimately used interchangeably, but I think it makes for clarity if they are kept separate, since some relevant evidence is inadmissible and some admissible evidence is irrelevant.
When it is said that a piece of evidence is admissible, what it meant is that the evidence is relevant and is one which can be admitted in a judicial proceedings because it does not offend any exclusionary rule. Accordingly, while all admissible facts are relevant, not all relevant facts are admissible.
A fact which is ordinarily admissible may become inadmissible because a statute declared it inadmissible or the fact is too remote to be material.
Relevant Facts – Relationship of Relevancy and Admissibility
The Act fails to define relevant facts. However, what constitutes relevant facts is deducible from the combined provision of Section 3 to 4. According to Phipson, relevant facts are: facts which, as a matter of ordinary logic or experience, tend to render the existence of other facts probable or improbable.
Thus, fact is relevant if:
i. It appeals to a matter at hand;
ii. It is logically connected and tending to prove or disprove a matter in issue, or having appreciable probative value; and
iii. It tends rationally to persuade the adjudicating tribunal in an attempt to prove or disprove a fact.
For evidence to be admissible, therefore, it must be relevant. The Supreme court clearly stated this as follows:
“Admissible evidence under the evidence Act is evidence which is relevant and it should be born in mind that what is not relevant is not admissible”
Facts declared to be relevant facts under the Act:
- Facts forming part of the same transaction
- Facts which are the occasion, cause are effect of facts in issue.
- Facts showing motive, preparation and previous or subsequent conduct.
- Facts necessary to introduce relevant facts.