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Civil Evidence: Missing Witnesses and Adverse Inferences
6 December 2021
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Recent decisions of the courts of England and Wales in the past year have shed light on the drawing of adverse inferences in relation to a failure to call witnesses, or from a witness’s failure to deal with a certain issue in their evidence.
Ahuja Investments Ltd v Victorygame Ltd & Anor
 EWHC 2382 (Ch), the court clarified the principles which need to be engaged in order for a party to successfully have adverse inferences drawn against another party, in particular, the need to show that the absent witness has material evidence to give.
The process of identifying material witnesses (and evidence) may now be helped by the introduction of PD57AC, which emphasises the importance of parties using trial witness statements as a means of informing the Court (and the other side) of the evidence that a party will rely on at trial and of helping the court to further the overriding objective.
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