Evidence Amendment Act No. 1 of 2021

This Act seeks to amend the Evidence Act, Chap. 7:02 and was assented to 25th February, 2021. The Amendment provide for the use of different identification procedures, interviews and oral admissions, and special measures for evidence by video-link.

To summarize, some notable features of the Act include:-

• Confessions can be video recorded, in addition to the written method of recording a confession.
• Under Section 12A(4)(b), (4) The investigating officer shall where practicable, have a video or audio recording of the eye-witness giving the first description.
• Section 12(J)(8) provides that the identification officer conducting an identification parade shall ensure that the identification parade is recorded by video recording.
• Section 12Q allows interviews to be recorded.
• The witness or victim does not have to be physically there for the identification process at the same time as the possible perpetrator. The suspects can be video recorded and then the victim or witness can view the footage afterwards.
• The Act eliminates the need at the trial stage for a certified computer expert to give a statement verifying that the computer was in good working condition.
•The Act enables video or audio recordings to be admissible and deemed to have the same effect as evidence given directly at a trial.

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