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The rule against hearsay in criminal proceedings excludes the admission of second-hand evidence, subject to certain exceptions. Evidence is described as hearsay where a witness proposes to testify as to a particular fact on the basis of what he has been told by another. Hearsay is excluded because there is no opportunity to cross-examine the maker of the original statement, and because hearsay may be unreliable. The rule has been criticised, however, because of its complexity and because it sometimes results in the exclusion of otherwise reliable evidence.

This subject was referred to the Law Reform Commission for consideration and a sub-committee, chaired by the Hon Mr Justice Stock, was established in July 2001. A consultation paper containing the Sub-committee's recommendations for reform was published on 30 November 2005. The Sub-committee's Secretary is Mr Byron Leung, Senior Government Counsel.

If you wish further information on this project, please write to the Secretary of the Law Reform Commission by fax, post or email.

The Commission's offices are at:

20/F Harcourt House
39 Gloucester Road
Hong Kong.

Tel: (852) 2528 0472
Fax: (852) 2865 2902