Civil Evidence Act 1973

Link to law: https://legislation.gov.im/cms/images/LEGISLATION/PRINCIPAL/1973/1973-0018/CivilEvidenceAct1973_3.pdf
Published: 2015-10-22

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Civil Evidence Act 1973

c i e
AT 18 of 1973

CIVIL EVIDENCE ACT 1973

Civil Evidence Act 1973 Index


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c i e
CIVIL EVIDENCE ACT 1973

Index Section Page

PART I 5

1 to 10 inclusive [Repealed] .............................................................................................. 5
PART II – MISCELLANEOUS AND GENERAL 5

Convictions, etc., as evidence in civil proceedings 5

11 Convictions as evidence in civil proceedings ............................................................. 5
12 Findings of adultery and paternity as evidence in civil proceedings ..................... 6
13 Conclusiveness of convictions for purposes of defamation actions ........................ 8
Privilege 9

14 Privilege against incrimination of self or spouse or civil partner ............................ 9
15 [Repealed] ...................................................................................................................... 10
16 Abolition of certain privileges .................................................................................... 10
17 Consequential amendments relating to privilege .................................................... 10
General 11

18 General interpretation and savings ............................................................................ 11
19 [Repealed] ...................................................................................................................... 12
20 Short title, repeals and commencement..................................................................... 12
SCHEDULE 1 13

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS 13
SCHEDULE 2 13

ENDNOTES 15

TABLE OF LEGISLATION HISTORY 15
TABLE OF RENUMBERED PROVISIONS 15
TABLE OF ENDNOTE REFERENCES 15

Civil Evidence Act 1973 Section 11


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c i e
CIVIL EVIDENCE ACT 1973

Received Royal Assent: 13 November 1973
Passed: 15 January 1974
Commenced: See endnotes
AN ACT
to amend the law of evidence in relation to civil proceedings, and in
respect of the privilege against self-incrimination to make corresponding
amendments in relation to statutory powers of inspection or investigation.
PART I
1

1 to 10 inclusive [Repealed]
2

PART II – MISCELLANEOUS AND GENERAL

Convictions, etc., as evidence in civil proceedings
11 Convictions as evidence in civil proceedings

[1968/11]
(1) In any civil proceedings the fact that a person has been convicted of an
offence by or before any court in the British Islands or by a court-martial
there or elsewhere shall (subject to subsection (3) below) be admissible in
evidence for the purpose of proving, where to do so is relevant to any
issue in those proceedings, that he committed that offence, whether he
was so convicted upon a plea of guilty or otherwise and whether or not
he is a party to the civil proceedings; but no conviction other than a
subsisting one shall be admissible in evidence by virtue of this section.
(2) In any civil proceedings in which by virtue of this section a person is
proved to have been convicted of an offence by or before any court in the
British Islands or by a court-martial there or elsewhere —
(a) he shall be taken to have committed that offence unless the
contrary is proved; and
Section 12 Civil Evidence Act 1973


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(b) without prejudice to the reception of any other admissible
evidence for the purpose of identifying the facts on which the
conviction was based, the contents of any document which is
admissible as evidence of the conviction, and the contents of the
information, complaint, indictment or charge-sheet on which the
person in question was convicted, shall be admissible in evidence
for that purpose.
(3) Nothing in this section shall prejudice the operation of section 13 of this
Act or any other enactment whereby a conviction or a finding of fact in
any criminal proceedings is for the purposes of any other proceedings
made conclusive evidence of any fact.
(4) Where in any civil proceedings the contents of any document are
admissible in evidence by virtue of subsection (2) above, a copy of that
document, or of the material part thereof, purporting to be certified or
otherwise authenticated by or on behalf of the court or authority having
custody of that document shall be admissible in evidence and shall be
taken to be a true copy of that document or part unless the contrary is
shown.
(5) Nothing in section 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 1963 (under which a
conviction leading to probation or discharge is to be disregarded except
as therein mentioned) shall affect the operation of this section.
(6) In this section “court-martial” means a court-martial constituted under
the Army Act 1955, the Air Force Act 1955 or the Naval Discipline Act
1957 (being Acts of Parliament) or a disciplinary court constituted under
section 50 of the said Act of 1957, and in relation to a court-martial
“conviction”, as regards a court-martial constituted under either of the
said Acts of 1955, means a finding of guilty which is, or falls to be treated
as, a finding of the court duly confirmed and, as regards a court-martial
or disciplinary court constituted under the said Act of 1957, means a
finding of guilty which is, or falls to be treated as, the finding of the
court, and “convicted” shall be construed accordingly.
12 Findings of adultery and paternity as evidence in civil proceedings

[1968/12]
(1) In any civil proceedings —
(a) the fact that a person has been found guilty of adultery in any
matrimonial proceedings; and
(b) the fact that a person has been found or adjudged to be the father
of a child in affiliation proceedings before any court in the British
Islands,3

shall (subject to subsection (3) below) be admissible in evidence for the
purpose of proving, where to do so is relevant to any issue in those civil
proceedings, that he committed the adultery to which the finding relates
Civil Evidence Act 1973 Section 12


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or, as the case may be, is (or was) the father of that child, whether or not
he offered any defence to the allegation of adultery or paternity and
whether or not he is a party to the civil proceedings; but no finding or
adjudication other than a subsisting one shall be admissible in evidence
by virtue of this section.
(2) In any civil proceedings in which by virtue of this section a person is
proved to have been found guilty of adultery as mentioned in
subsection (1)(a) above or to have been found or adjudged to be the
father of a child as mentioned in subsection (1)(b) above —
(a) he shall be taken to have committed the adultery to which the
finding relates or, as the case may be, to be (or have been) the
father of that child, unless the contrary is proved; and
(b) without prejudice to the reception of any other admissible
evidence for the purpose of identifying the facts on which the
finding or adjudication was based, the contents of any document
which was before the court, or which contains any
pronouncement of the court, in the matrimonial or affiliation
proceedings in question shall be admissible in evidence for that
purpose.4

(3) Nothing in this section shall prejudice the operation of any enactment
whereby a finding of fact in any matrimonial or affiliation proceedings is
for the purposes of any other proceedings made conclusive evidence of
any fact.
(4) Subsection (4) of section 11 of this Act shall apply for the purposes
of this section as if the reference to subsection (2) were a reference to sub-
section (2) of this section.
(5) In this section —
“matrimonial proceedings” means any matrimonial cause in Her Majesty’s
High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man or the High Court or the family
court in England and Wales or in the High Court in Northern Ireland,
any consistorial action in Scotland, or in any of the Royal Courts of the
Channel Islands exercising jurisdiction in matrimonial causes, or any
appeal arising out of any such cause or action;5

“affiliation proceedings” means —
(a) in relation to the Island, any proceedings on an application for an
order under section 11 of or Schedule 1 to the Children and Young
Persons Act 2001 relating to a non-marital child (within the
meaning of that Act);6

(b) in relation to England and Wales, relevant proceedings for the
purpose of section 12 of the Civil Evidence Act 1968 (an Act of
Parliament);
(c) in relation to Scotland, any action of affiliation and aliment;7

Section 13 Civil Evidence Act 1973


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and in this subsection “consistorial action” does not include an action of
aliment only between husband and wife raised in the Court of Session or
an action of interim aliment raised in the sheriff court.
13 Conclusiveness of convictions for purposes of defamation actions

[1968/13]
(1) In an action for libel or slander in which the question whether the
plaintiff did or did not commit a criminal offence is relevant to an issue
arising in the action, proof that at the time when that issue falls to be
determined, he stands convicted of that offence shall be conclusive
evidence that he committed that offence; and his conviction thereof shall
be admissible in evidence accordingly.8

(2) In any such action as aforesaid in which by virtue of this section the
plaintiff is proved to have been convicted of an offence, the contents of
any document which is admissible as evidence of the conviction, and the
contents of the information, complaint, indictment or charge-sheet on
which he was convicted, shall, without prejudice to the reception of any
other admissible evidence for the purpose of identifying the facts on
which the conviction was based, be admissible in evidence for the
purpose of identifying those facts.9

(2A) In the case of an action for libel or slander in which there is more than
one plaintiff —
(a) the references in subsections (1) and (2) to the plaintiff shall be
construed as references to any of the plaintiffs, and
(b) proof that any of the plaintiffs stands convicted of an offence shall
be conclusive evidence that he committed that offence so far as
that fact is relevant to any issue arising in relation to his cause of
action or that of any other plaintiff.10

(3) For the purposes of this section a person shall be taken to stand
convicted of an offence if but only if there subsists against him a
conviction of that offence by or before a court in any of the British Islands
or by a court-martial there or elsewhere.
(4) Subsections (4) to (6) of section 11 of this Act shall apply for the purposes
of this section as they apply for the purposes of that section, but as if in
the said subsection (4) the reference to subsection (2) were a reference to
subsection (2) of this section.
(5) The foregoing provisions of this section shall apply for the purposes of
any action begun after the passing of this Act, whenever the cause of
action arose, but shall not apply for the purposes of any action begun
before the passing of this Act or any appeal or other proceedings arising
out of any such action.
Civil Evidence Act 1973 Section 14


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Privilege
14 Privilege against incrimination of self or spouse or civil partner
11

[1968/14]
(1) The right of a person in any legal proceedings other than criminal
proceedings to refuse to answer any question or produce any document
or thing if to do so would tend to expose that person to proceedings for
an offence or for the recovery of a penalty —
(a) shall apply only as regards criminal offences under the law of any
part of the British Islands and penalties provided for by such law;
and
(b) shall include a like right to refuse to answer any question or
produce any document or thing if to do so would tend to expose
the spouse or civil partner of that person to proceedings for any
such criminal offence or for the recovery of any such penalty.12

(2) In so far as any existing enactment conferring (in whatever words)
powers of inspection or investigation confers on a person (in whatever
words) any right otherwise than in criminal proceedings to refuse to
answer any question or give any evidence tending to incriminate that
person, subsection (1) above shall apply to that right as it applies to the
right described in that subsection; and every such existing enactment
shall be construed accordingly.
(3) In so far as any existing enactment provides (in whatever words) that in
any proceedings other than criminal proceedings a person shall not be
excused from answering any question or giving any evidence on the
ground that to do so may incriminate that person, that enactment shall
be construed as providing also that in such proceedings a person shall
not be excused from answering any question or giving any evidence on
the ground that to do so may incriminate the spouse or civil partner of
that person.13

(4) Where any existing enactment (however worded) that —
(a) confers powers of inspection or investigation; or
(b) provides as mentioned in subsection (3) above,
further provides (in whatever words) that any answer or evidence given
by a person shall not be admissible in evidence against that person in any
proceedings or class of proceedings (however described, and whether
criminal or not), that enactment shall be construed as providing also that
any answer or evidence given by that person shall not be admissible in
evidence against the husband or wife of that person in the proceedings
or class of proceedings in question.
(5) In this section “existing enactment” means any enactment passed before
this Act; and the references to giving evidence are references to giving
Section 15 Civil Evidence Act 1973


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evidence in any manner, whether by furnishing information, making
discovery, producing documents or otherwise.14

15 [Repealed]
15

16 Abolition of certain privileges

[1968/16]
(1) The following rules of law are hereby abrogated except in relation to
criminal proceedings, that is to say —
(a) the rule whereby, in any legal proceedings, a person cannot be
compelled to answer any question or produce any document or
thing if to do so would tend to expose him to a forfeiture; and
(b) the rule whereby, in any legal proceedings, a person other than a
party to the proceedings cannot be compelled to produce any
deed or other document relating to his title to any land.
(2) The rule of law whereby, in any civil proceedings, a party to the
proceedings cannot be compelled to produce any document relating
solely to his own case and in no way tending to impeach that case or
support the case of any opposing party is hereby abrogated.
(3) and (4) [Repealed]16

(4) A witness in any proceedings instituted in consequence of adultery,
whether a party to the proceedings or not, shall not be excused from
answering any question by reason that it tends to show that he or she has
been guilty of adultery.17

17 Consequential amendments relating to privilege

[1968/17]
(1) Any existing enactment however framed or worded, which in relation to
any tribunal, investigation or inquiry (however described) confers on
persons required to answer questions or give evidence any privilege
described by reference to the privileges of witnesses in proceedings
before any court shall, unless the contrary intention appears, be
construed as referring to the privileges of witnesses in civil proceedings
before that court.18

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsections (2) to (4) of section 14
of this Act, the enactments mentioned in Schedule 1 to this Act shall have
effect subject to the amendments provided for by that Schedule (being
verbal amendments to bring those enactments into conformity with the
provisions of that section).
(3) Subsection (5) of section 14 of this Act shall apply for the purposes of this
section as it applies for the purposes of that section.
Civil Evidence Act 1973 Section 18


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General
18 General interpretation and savings

[1968/18]
(1) In this Act “civil proceedings”
includes, in addition to civil proceedings
in any of the ordinary courts of law —
(a) civil proceedings before any other tribunal, being proceedings in
relation to which the strict rules of evidence apply; and
(b) an arbitration or reference, whether under an enactment or not,
but does not include civil proceedings in relation to which the strict rules
of evidence do not apply.
(2) In this Act —
“court
” does not include a court-martial, and, in relation to an arbitration or
reference, means the arbitrator or umpire and, in relation to proceedings
before a tribunal (not being one of the ordinary courts of law), means the
tribunal;
“legal proceedings
” includes an arbitration or reference, whether under an
enactment or not;
and for the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that in this Act, and
in any amendment made by this Act in any other enactment, references
to a person’s husband or wife do not include references to a person who
is no longer married to that person.
(3) Any reference in this Act to any other enactment is a reference thereto as
amended, and includes a reference thereto as applied, by or under any
other enactment.
(4) Nothing in this Act shall prejudice the operation of any enactment which
provides (in whatever words) that any answer or evidence given by a
person in specified circumstances shall not be admissible in evidence
against him or some other person in any proceedings or class of
proceedings (however described).
In this subsection the reference to giving evidence is a reference to giving
evidence in any manner, whether by furnishing information, making
discovery, producing documents or otherwise.
(5) Nothing in this Act shall prejudice —
(a) any power of a court, in any legal proceedings, to exclude
evidence (whether by preventing questions from being put or
otherwise) at its discretion; or
(b) the operation of any agreement (whenever made) between the
parties to any legal proceedings as to the evidence which is to be
admissible (whether generally or for any particular purpose) in
those proceedings.
Section 19 Civil Evidence Act 1973


Page 12 AT 18 of 1973 c

(6) It is hereby declared that where, by reason of any defect of speech or
hearing from which he is suffering, a person called as a witness in any
legal proceedings gives his evidence in writing or by signs, that evidence
is to be treated for the purposes of this Act as being given orally.
19 [Repealed]
19

20 Short title, repeals and commencement

[1968/20]
(1) This Act may be cited as the Civil Evidence Act 1973.
(2) This Act shall come into operation when the Royal Assent thereto has
been by the Governor announced to Tynwald and a certificate thereof
has been signed by the Governor and the Speaker of the House of Keys,
but shall take effect on such day as the Governor may by order appoint;
and different days may be appointed for different purposes of this Act or
for the same purpose in relation to different courts or proceedings or
otherwise in relation to different circumstances.20

Civil Evidence Act 1973 Schedule 1



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SCHEDULE 1

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS

Section 17
[Sch 1 amended by Representation of the People Act 1995Sch 8, and amends the
following Act —
Explosive Substances Act 1883 q.v.]
SCHEDULE 2
21

Civil Evidence Act 1973 Endnotes


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ENDNOTES

Table of Legislation History

Legislation Year and No Commencement






Table of Renumbered Provisions

Original Current






Table of Endnote References

1
Part 1 repealed by Administration of Justice Act 2008 Sch 1. 2
Ss 1 to 10 inclusive repealed by Administration of Justice Act 2008 Sch 1. 3
Para (b) amended by Family Law Act 1991 Sch 5. 4
Subs (2) amended by Family Law Act 1991 Sch 5. 5
Definition of “matrimonial proceedings” amended by Legislation Act 2015 s 99. 6
Para (a) amended by Children and Young Persons Act 2001 Sch 12 and by Children
and Young Persons (Amendment) Act 2013 s 5. 7
Definition of “affiliation proceedings” substituted by Family Law Act 1991 Sch 5. 8
Subs (1) amended by Law Reform Act 1997 s 17 with saving. 9
Subs (2) amended by Law Reform Act 1997 s 17 with saving. 10
Subs (2A) inserted by Law Reform Act 1997 s 17 with saving. 11
S 14 heading amended by Civil Partnership Act 2011 Sch 14. 12
Para (b) amended by Civil Partnership Act 2011 Sch 14. 13
Subs (3) amended by Civil Partnership Act 2011 Sch 14. 14
S 14 amended by Civil Partnership Act 2011 Sch 14. 15
S 15 repealed by Evidence Act 1983 Sch 3. 16
Subss (3) and (4) repealed by Statute Law Revision Act 1997 Sch 2. 17
Subs (5) amended by Statute Law Revision Act 1997 Sch 2. 18
Subs (1) amended by Inquiries (Evidence) Act 2003 Sch 1. 19
S 19 repealed by Value Added Tax Act 1996 Sch 16. 20
ADO (ss 11 to 18, 20) 1/3/1974 (GC17/74; (ss 1 to 10, 19) 1/3/1975 (GC143/74). 21
Sch 2 repealed by Value Added Tax Act 1996 Sch 16.