Francesco Caprioli

Hearsay Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: The Reasons for a Centuries-old Distrust

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Testimonial hearsay evidence aroues distrust in criminal trials for two different reasons. First, because the second-degree statement is not directly concerned with the facts that must be proved (whether or not it should be considered a “circumstantialµ evidence in the technical sense). Secondly, because the first-degree witness is not required to tell the truth, does not speak in front of the judge and does not answer the questions of the trial parties. The Author wonders whether and to what extent evidence like this is admissible in an evidentiary law system such as the Italian one, in which, following the introduction of art. 111 paragraph 4 of the Constitution, the paradigm of testimonial evidence is represented by the oral statement made in court and subject to cross-examination.


  • Criminal Proceedings
  • Due Process of Law
  • Testimonial Evidence
  • Hearsay Rule
  • Cross-Examination


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