What is evidence exactly?
The definition provided in the Australian Workplace Training and Investigation Evidence Manual states “Evidence is information that is relevant to proving or disproving a disputed fact in issue in legal proceedings”.
Any workplace investigation will gather evidence so that a decision can be made at a tribunal hearing. No matter what kind of investigation it is, this is essential to prove or disprove testimony and exhibits presented. This ultimately leads to the guilt or innocence of the defendant.
The rules are the same in a workplace investigation and tribunal as they are in a court of law, in criminal and civil cases.
There are four different types of evidence that prosecution or defence can submit during a tribunal hearing following a workplace investigation, including:
Handling of evidence
It is not enough for the defence or prosecution to submit evidence. Each investigation must show there is a transparent chain for managing this material, including its handling, chain, and storage. This ensures quality and non-bias.
For evidence to be admissible, it must be in its natural or original state. It cannot be changed, damaged or destroyed, and it cannot be contaminated or altered in any way. There are different rules for different types of evidence when it comes to handling:
For any immovable objects, photographs or videos can be used in situ. When you gather this evidence, ensure that every possible detail is included, like serial numbers, distinguishing features etc.
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