Front Page Titles (by Subject) CONCLUSION. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 7 (Rationale of Judicial Evidence Part 2)
CONCLUSION. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 7 (Rationale of Judicial Evidence Part 2) 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 7.
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- Rationale of Judicial Evidence.
- Book V.: —of Circumstantial Evidence.
- Chapter I.: Circumstantial Evidence, What—how Distinguished From Direct Evidence.
- Chapter II.: Of Probabilizing, Disprobabilizing, and Infirmative Facts—examples of Principal Facts, With the Corresponding Evidentiary Facts—improbability and Impossibility, How Distinguished From the Other Kinds of Circumstantial Evidence.
- Chapter III.: Of Real Evidence, Or Evidence From Things.
- Chapter IV.: Of Preparations, Attempts, Declarations of Intention, and Thrlats, Considered As Affording Evidence of Delinquency.
- Chapter V.: Of Non-responsion, and False, Or Evasive Responsion, Considered As Affording Evidence of Delinquency.
- Chapter VI.: Of Spontaneous * Self-inculpative Testimony, Considered As Affording Evidence of Delinquency.
- Chapter VII.: Of Confessorial and Otherwise Self-disserving Evidence, Extracted By Interrogation.
- Chapter VIII.: Of Confusion of Mind, Considered As Affording Evidence of Delinquency.
- Chapter IX.: Of Fear, In So Far As Indicated By Passive Deportment, Considered As Affording Evidence of Delinquency.
- Chapter X.: Of Clandestinity, Considered As Affording Evidence of Delinquency.
- Chapter XI.: Of Suppression Or Fabrication of Evidence, Considered As Affording Evidence of Delinqufncy.
- Chapter XII.: Of Avoidance of Justiciability, Considered As Affording Evidence of Delinquency.
- Chapter XIII.: Of the Situation of the Supposed Delinquent In Respect of Motives, Means, Disposition, Character, and Station In Life, Considered As Affording Evidence of Delinquency.
- Chapter XIV.: Posteriora Priorum—priora Posteriorum. Fact Indicated, a Prior Event; Evidentiary Fact, a Posterior Event In the Same Series: and E Converso.
- Chapter XV.: On the Probative Force of Circumstantial Evidence.
- Chapter XVI.: Of Improbability and Impossibility. *
- Chapter XVII.: Atrocity of an Alleged Offence, How Far a Ground of Incredibility. ‡
- Book VI: Of Makeshift Evidence.
- Chapter I.: Of Makeshift Evidence In General.
- Chapter II.: Of Extrajudicially Written Evidence.
- Chapter III.: Of Unoriginal Evidence In General.
- Chapter IV.: Of Supposed Oral Evidence Transmitted Through Oral, Or Hearsay Evidence.
- Chapter V.: Instructions Concerning the Probative Force of Extrajudicially Written and Hearsay Evidence. *
- Chapter VI.: Of Supposed Written Evidence, Transmitted Through Oral; Or Memoriter Evidence. *
- Chapter VII.: Of Supposed Oral Evidence, Transmitted Through Written; Or Minuted Evidence.
- Chapter VIII.: Of Supposed Written Evidence, Transmitted Through Written; Or Transcriptitious Evidence.
- Chapter IX.: Of Reported Real Evidence: I. E. Supposed Real Evidence, Transmitted Through Oral Judicial Testimony, Or Through Casually-written Evidence.
- Chapter X.: Of Evidence Transmitted Through an Indefinite Number of Media.
- Chapter XI.: What Ought, and What Ought Not, to Be Done, to Obviate the Danger of Misdecision On the Ground of Makeshift Evidence.
- Chapter XII.: Aberrations of English Law In Regard to Makeshift Evidence.
- Book VII.: Of the Authentication of Evidence.
- Chapter I.: Authentication, What. Connexion of This Subject With That of Preappointed Evidence.
- Chapter II.: Subject-matters of Authentication, What. Modes of Authentication In the Case of Real and of Oral Evidence.
- Chapter III.: Modes of Authentication In the Case of Written Evidence.
- Chapter IV.: Modes of Deauthentication In the Case of Written Evidence.
- Chapter V.: Distinction Between Provisional and Definitive Authentication. Rules For the Legislator and the Judge, Concerning the Authentication of Written Evidence.
- Chapter VI.: Aberrations of English Law In Regard to the Authentication of Written Evidence.
- Book VIII.: On the Cause of Exclusion of Evidence—the Technical System of Procedure.
- Chapter I.: Object of This Inquiry—its Connexion With the Subject of the Present Work.
- Chapter II.: Technical Or Fee-gathering, and Natural Or Domestic, Systems of Procedure, What?
- Chapter III.: Cause of the Vices of Technical Procedure, the Sinister Interest of the Judge.
- Chapter IV.: Particular Exemplifications of the Vices Introduced By the Fee-gathering Principle Into Technical Judicature.
- Chapter V.: List of the Devices Employed Under the Fee-gathering System, For Promoting the Ends of Established Judicature, At the Expense of the Ends of Justice. *
- Chapter VI.: First Device—exclusion of the Parties From the Presence of the Judge.
- Chapter VII.: Second Device—tribunals Out of Reach: Or, Swallowing Up the Inferior Courts.
- Chapter VIII.: Third Device—bandying the Cause From Court to Court.
- Chapter IX.: Fourth Device—blind Fixation of Times For the Oplrations of Procedure.
- Chapter X.: Fifth Device—sitting At Long Intervals.
- Chapter XI.: Sixth Device—motion Business.
- Chapter XII.: Seventh Device,—decision Without Thought; Or Mechanical Judicature.
- Chapter XIII.: Eighth Device—chicaneries About Notice.
- Chapter XIV.: Ninth Device—principll of Nullification.
- Chapter XV.: Tenth Device—mendacity-licence.
- Chapter XVI.: Eleventh Device—ready Written Pleadings.
- Chapter XVII.: Twelfth Device—principle of Jargon, Or Jargonization.
- Chapter XVIII.: Thirteenth Device—fiction.
- Chapter XIX.: Fourteenth Device—entanglement of Jurisdictions.
- Chapter XX.: Fifteenth Device—means of Securing Forthcomingness, Uselessly Divfrsified.
- Chapter XXI.: Sixteenth Device—creation of Needless and Useless Offices.
- Chapter XXII.: Seventeenth Device—sham Pecuniary Checks to Delay, Vexation, and Expense.
- Chapter XXIII.: Eighteenth Device—double-fountain Principle.
- Chapter XXIV.: Nineteenth Device—laudation of Jurisprudential Law.
- Chapter XXV.: Habitual Contempt Shown By Judges to the Authority of the Legislature.
- Chapter XXVI.: Opinion-trade.
- Chapter XXVII.: Extension of the Above Devices to Substantive Law, As Far As Applicable.
- Chapter XXVIII.: Remedies Suggested For the Above Evils.
- Chapter XXIX.: Apology For the Above Exposure.
- Book IX.: On Exclusion of Evidence.
- Part I.: On the Exclusionary System In General.
- Chapter I.: Exclusion of Evidence. Its Connexion With the Ends of Justice.
- Chapter II.: Disregard Shown to the Ends of Justice Under the Exclusionary System.
- Chapter III.: General View of the Mischiefs of the Exclusionary System.
- Chapter IV.: Dicta of Judges On the Exclusionary System.
- Chapter V.: Species of Exclusion.
- Part II.: View of the Cases In Which Exclusion of Evidence Is Proper.
- Chapter I.: General View of the Cases In Which Exclusion Is Proper.
- Chapter II.: Exclusion On the Ground of Vexation, In What Cases Proper.
- Chapter III.: Exclusion On the Ground of Expense, In What Cases Proper.
- Chapter IV.: Exclusion On the Ground of Delay, In What Cases Proper.
- Chapter V.: Exclusion of Irrelevant Evidence, Proper.
- Chapter VI.: Exclusion of the Evidence of a Catholic Priest, Respecting the Confessions Intrusted to Him, Proper.
- Chapter VII.: Remedies Succedaneous to the Exclusion of Evidence.
- Part III.: View of the Cases In Which Evidence Has Improperly Been Excluded On the Ground of Danger of Deception. *
- Chapter I.: Cases Enumerated.
- Chapter II.: Danger of Deception, Not a Proper Ground For Exclusion of Evidence.
- Chapter III.: Impropriety of Exclusion On the Ground of Interest.
- Chapter IV.: Impropriety of Exclusion On the Ground of Improbity.
- Chapter V.: Impropriety of Exclusion On the Ground of Religious Opinions.
- Chapter VI.: Impropriety of Exclusion On the Ground of Mlntal Imbecility, and Particularly of Infancy and Superannuation.
- Chapter VII.: Of the Restoratives For Competency, Devised By English Lawyers.
- Part IV.: View of the Cases In Which Evidence Has Improperly Been Excluded On the Ground of Vexation.
- Chapter I.: Vexation to Individuals Arising Solely Out of the Execution of the Laws, Not a Proper Ground of Exclusion.
- Chapter II.: Enumeration of the Sorts of Evidence Improperly Excluded On This Ground By English Law.
- Chapter III.: Impropriety of the Exclusion Put Upon Self-disserving Evidence By English Law.
- Chapter IV.: Inconsistencies of English Law In Regard to Self-disserving Evidence.
- Chapter V.: Examination of the Cases In Which English Law Exempts One Person From Giving Evidence Against Another.
- Part V.: View of the Cases In Which Evidence Has Improperly Been Excluded On the Double Account of Vexation and Danger of Deception.
- Chapter I.: Impropriety of Excluding the Testimony of a Party to the Cause, For Or Against Himself.
- Chapter II.: Examination of the Course Pursued In Regard to the Plaintiff’s Testimony By English Law.
- Chapter III.: Examination of the Course Pursued In Regard to the Defendant’s Testimony By English Law.
- Chapter IV.: Impropriety of Excluding the Testimony of a Party to the Cause, For Or Against Another Party On the Same Side. Examination of the Course Pursued In This Respect By English Law.
- Chapter V.: Probable Origin of the Above Exclusionary Rules.
- Part VI.: Of Disguised Exclusions.
- Chapter I.: Exclusion of Evidence For Want of Multiplicity.
- Chapter II.: Exclusion By Limitation Put Upon the Number of Witnesses.
- Chapter III.: Exclusion Put By Blind Arrangements of Procedure Upon Indeterminate Portions of the Mass of Evidence.
- Chapter IV.: Exclusion By Rendering a Particular Species of Evidence Conclusive.
- Chapter V.: Of the Rule, That Evidence Is to Be Confined to the Points In Issue. ‡
- Chapter VI.: Of Negative Exclusions.
- Book X.: Instructions to Be Delivered From the Legislator to the Judge, For the Estimation of the Probative Force of Evidence.
- Chapter I.: Preliminary Observations.
- Chapter II.: Of Interest In General, Considered As a Ground of Untrustworthiness In Testimony.
- Chapter III.: Of Pecuniary Interest, Considered As a Ground of Untrustworthiness In Testimony. *
- Chapter IV.: Of Interest Derived From Social Connexions In General.
- Chapter V.: Of Interest Derived From Sexual Connexions.
- Chapter VI.: Of Interest Derived From Situation With Respect to the Cause Or Suit.
- Chapter VII.: Of Improbity, Considered As a Cause of Untrustworthiness In Testimony.
- Chapter VIII.: Of the Comparative Mischief In the Event of Misdecision, to the Prejudice of the Plaintiff’s Or of the Defendant’s Side.
- Chapter IX.: Ulterior Safeguards Against the Inconveniencies Which May Present Themselves As Liable to Arise From the Abolition of the Exclusionary Rules.
- Chapter X.: Recapitulation.
- Note On the Belgic Code.
We are now arrived at the conclusion of this work: a few leading considerations have been pressing upon our minds throughout the whole course of it. At present I speak particularly to Englishmen; the application to other countries will not be difficult.
1. So far as evidence is concerned (and the limitation need not he anxiously insisted on,) the existing system of procedure has been framed, not in pursuit of the ends of justice, but in pursuit of private sinister ends—in direct hostility to the public ends. It is time that a new system be framed, really directed to the attainment of the ends of justice.
2. The models, the standards, the exemplifications of the proposed improved system—nay, of a perfect system, are not objects of a Utopian theory;—they are within every man’s observation and experience—within the range of every man’s view—within the circle of every private man’s family.
3. To find these models of perfection, an Englishman has no need to go out of his own country: for invention there is little work—for importation, scarce any. English practice needs no improvement but from its own stores: consistency—consistency is the one thing needful: preserve consistency, and perfection is accomplished.
4. No new powers, no tamperings with the constitution, no revolutions in power, no new authorities, much less any foreign aid, are necessary. All that is necessary (and this is necessary) is, that the laws made for the purpose should be made by the lawful legislator—not by a power subordinate to that of the legislator, taking advantage of his negligence, usurping his authority, legislating with inadequate means, in pursuit of sinister ends, on false pretences.
5. Nothing more is required, than the extending, in all causes and cases, to rich and poor without distinction, that relief which in certain causes and cases, and in certain districts, has been afforded to the poor: torn (by the appointed guardians and friends of the people) from the rapacity, or abandoned by the negligence, of their natural enemies.
6. It requires, indeed, the establishment of local judicatures: but even this is not innovation (not that even innovation, where necessary, should ever be declined)—not innovation, but restoration and extension. Restoration—of powers once in existence, before they were swallowed up by the framers of the existing system of abuse, under favour of their own resistless power, working by their own frauds, covered by their own disguises, in pursuit of their own sinister ends. Extension—the restoring, though with some increase of amplitude, to one half of the island, the fountains of justice so happily retained by the other.
An aphorism not unfrequently quoted, and seldom without approbation, is that of Machiavel, in which the taking the constitution of the country to pieces, for the purpose of bringing it back to its first principles, is spoken of as a wise and desirable course. In the character of a general principle extending to all states, and to every branch of the constitution of every state, it is founded on vulgar prejudice, and leads to mischief. It supposes a constitution formed all at once: a supposition scarce anywhere realized. It supposes experience worth nothing; and herein lies the great and mischievous absurdity. It supposes men in the savage state endued with perfect wisdom, but growing less and less wise as experience accumulates, and progress is made in the track of civilization. It supposes that, to make the British constitution better than it is, we ought to bring it back to what it was in the time of William III., or Charles I., or Edward I., or John, or William the Conqueror, or Alfred, or Egbert, or Vortigern, or Cassibelaunus; in whose reign it would still have exhibited a picture of degeneracy, if compared with the primeval golden constitution of New Holland or New Zealand.
In the case at present on the carpet, the supposed wisdom of the maxim may find an apparent confirmation. By doing away the work of five or six hundred years, and throwing back the system of procedure, as to the most fundamental parts, into the state in which it was at the time of Edward I. and much earlier, a mountain of abuse might be removed, and even a near approach to perfection made. Why? Because in principle there is but one mode of searching out the truth: and (bating the corruptions introduced by superstition, or fraud, or folly, under the mask of science) this mode, in so far as truth has been searched out and brought to light, is, and ever has been, and ever will be, the same, in all times, and in all places—in all cottages, and in all palaces—in every family, and in every court of justice. Be the dispute what it may,—see everything that is to be seen; hear everybody who is likely to know anything about the matter: hear everybody, but most attentively of all, and first of all, those who are likely to know most about it—the parties.
Under the first Normans, as under the Saxons, the parties were always present in court, whoever else was present. Each was allowed to appear for his own benefit; each was compelled to appear for the benefit of his adversary.
Under the first Normans, as under the Saxons, justice was within the reach of every man: he might have it, in many cases, without travelling out of his own hundred;—in almost all cases, without travelling out of his own county. With, or even without, the assistance of a horse, most commonly he might betake himself to the seat of judicature, and return, without sleeping out of his own bed: at the worst, he might go one day, and return the next.
With minds of a certain texture, many points might perhaps be gained by quoting, as if it were an authority, this conceit of Machiavel. But to rest the cause of utility and truth upon prejudices and wild conceits, would be to give a foundation of chaff to an edifice of granite. In a work which, if true or useful for a moment, will be so as long as men are men, the humour of the day is not worth catching at any such price.
In point of fact, then, I mention it as mere matter of accident, and in point of argument as no better than an argument ad hominem, that the system of procedure here proposed, happens to be, in its fundamental principles, not a novel, but an old one: and I give it for good, not because it is old, but although it happens to be so. Parties meeting face to face, in courts near to their own homes: in county courts, and, where population is thick enough, in hundred-courts or town-courts.