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Parole Evidence Rule

  • Date Submitted: 11/12/2011 11:08 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 37.6 
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How justified is the fact that Parole Evidence Rule has outlived its importance in the modern day life?

Rules of Evidence govern the facts that are receivable in litigation being criminal or civil. The rules outline the general requirements but however there are exceptions to the general rules. The question of admissibility is a critical issue and evidence can be either admissible or inadmissible. This is also the scenario in Parol Evidence as it falls under the broad subject of Evidence. Evidentiary rules should be logical, consistent, and based on principled reasons. Questions of admissibility should be determinable with a fair degree of certainty prior to trial so that the legal adviser may properly advise the client on the likely trial outcome. Evidence law should keep up with the times and try to reflect the increasing global mobility of persons and modern advancements in electronic communications.

The parol evidence rule is a substantive common law rule in contract cases that prevents a party to a written contract from presenting extrinsic evidence that contradicts or adds to the written terms of the contract that appears to be whole. The supporting rationale is that since the contracting parties have reduced their agreement to a single and final writing, the extrinsic evidence of past agreements or terms should not be considered when interpreting that writing, as the parties had decided to ultimately leave them out of the contract. However, evidentiary rules should, within the limits of justice and fairness to all parties, facilitate and not hinder the determination of relevant issues. Conviction of the innocent is always to be avoided. All accused have a fundamental right to make full answer and defence to a criminal charge and evidentiary rules should be clear, simple, accessible, and easily understood.

In Manavis Vs Rhodesia Reduction Co Ltd (1910) Buch AC 31, Watermeyer JA stated that, “Now this court has accepted the rule that when a contract...

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