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Perjury is the intentional act of swearing a false oath or falsifying an affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to an official proceeding.In some jurisdictions, contrary to popular misconception, no crime has occurred when a false statement is (intentionally or unintentionally) made while under oath or subject to penalty. Instead, criminal culpability attaches only at the instant the declarant falsely asserts the truth of statements (made or to be made) that are material to the outcome of the proceeding. For example, it is not perjury to lie about one's age except if age is a fact material to influencing the legal result, such as eligibility for old age retirement benefits or whether a person was of an age to have legal capacity.
Traditionally an oath is either a statement of fact or a promise with wording relating to something considered sacred as a sign of verity. A common legal substitute for those who conscientiously object to making sacred oaths is to give an affirmation instead. Nowadays, even when there is no notion of sanctity involved, certain promises said out loud in ceremonial or juridical purpose are referred to as oaths. "To swear" is a verb used to describe the taking of an oath, to making a solemn vow.
In law, an affirmation is a solemn declaration allowed to those who conscientiously object to taking an oath. An affirmation has exactly the same legal effect as an oath but is usually taken to avoid the religious implications of an oath; it is thus legally binding but not considered a religious oath. Some religious minorities hold beliefs that allow them to make legally binding promises but forbid them to swear an oath before a deity. Additionally, many decline to make a religious oath because they feel that to do so would be valueless or inappropriate, especially in secular courts. In some jurisdictions, an affirmation may be given only if such a reason is provided.
Retirement is the withdrawal from one's position or occupation or from one's active working life. A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours.
Perjury is considered a serious offense, as it can be used to usurp the power of the courts, resulting in miscarriages of justice. In the United States, for example, the general perjury statute under federal law classifies perjury as a felony and provides for a prison sentence of up to five years.The California Penal Code allows for perjury to be a capital offense in cases causing wrongful execution. Perjury which caused the wrongful execution of another or in the pursuit of causing the wrongful execution of another is respectively construed as murder or attempted murder, and is normally itself punishable by execution in countries that retain the death penalty. Perjury is considered a felony in most U.S. states as well as most Australian states. In Queensland, under Section 124 of the Queensland Criminal Code Act 1899, perjury is punishable by up to life in prison if it is committed to procure an innocent person for a crime that is punishable by life in prison. However, prosecutions for perjury are rare. In some countries such as France and Italy, suspects cannot be heard under oath or affirmation and so cannot commit perjury, regardless of what they say during their trial.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
The Penal Code of California forms the basis for the application of criminal law in the American state of California. It was originally enacted in 1872 as one of the original four California Codes, and has been substantially amended and revised since then.
Wrongful execution is a miscarriage of justice occurring when an innocent person is put to death by capital punishment. Cases of wrongful execution are cited as an argument by opponents of capital punishment, while proponents suggest that the argument of innocence concerns the credibility of the justice system as a whole and does not solely undermine the use of death penalty.
The rules for perjury also apply when a person has made a statement under penalty of perjury even if the person has not been sworn or affirmed as a witness before an appropriate official. An example is the US income tax return, which, by law, must be signed as true and correct under penalty of perjury (see 26 U.S.C. § 6065). Federal tax law provides criminal penalties of up to three years in prison for violation of the tax return perjury statute. See:
An income tax is a tax imposed on individuals or entities (taxpayers) that varies with respective income or profits. Income tax generally is computed as the product of a tax rate times taxable income. Taxation rates may vary by type or characteristics of the taxpayer.
The Internal Revenue Code (IRC), formally the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, is the domestic portion of federal statutory tax law in the United States, published in various volumes of the United States Statutes at Large, and separately as Title 26 of the United States Code (USC). It is organized topically, into subtitles and sections, covering income tax, payroll taxes, estate taxes, gift taxes, and excise taxes; as well as procedure and administration. Its implementing agency is the Internal Revenue Service.
A prison, also known as a correctional facility, jail, gaol, penitentiary, detention center, remand center, or internment facility, is a facility in which inmates are forcibly confined and denied a variety of freedoms under the authority of the state. Prisons are most commonly used within a criminal justice system: people charged with crimes may be imprisoned until their trial; those pleading or being found guilty of crimes at trial may be sentenced to a specified period of imprisonment. In simplest terms, a prison can also be described as a building in which people are legally held as a punishment for a crime they have committed.
Statements that entail an interpretation of fact are not perjury because people often draw inaccurate conclusions unwittingly or make honest mistakes without the intent to deceive. Individuals may have honest but mistaken beliefs about certain facts or their recollection may be inaccurate, or may have a different perception of what is the accurate way to state the truth. Like most other crimes in the common law system, to be convicted of perjury one must have had the intention ( mens rea ) to commit the act and to have actually committed the act ( actus reus ). Further, statements that are facts cannot be considered perjury, even if they might arguably constitute an omission, and it is not perjury to lie about matters that are immaterial to the legal proceeding.
In law, common law is that body of law derived from judicial decisions of courts and similar tribunals. The defining characteristic of “common law” is that it arises as precedent. In cases where the parties disagree on what the law is, a common law court looks to past precedential decisions of relevant courts, and synthesizes the principles of those past cases as applicable to the current facts. If a similar dispute has been resolved in the past, the court is usually bound to follow the reasoning used in the prior decision. If, however, the court finds that the current dispute is fundamentally distinct from all previous cases, and legislative statutes are either silent or ambiguous on the question, judges have the authority and duty to resolve the issue. The court states an opinion that gives reasons for the decision, and those reasons agglomerate with past decisions as precedent to bind future judges and litigants. Common law, as the body of law made by judges, stands in contrast to and on equal footing with statutes which are adopted through the legislative process, and regulations which are promulgated by the executive branch. Stare decisis, the principle that cases should be decided according to consistent principled rules so that similar facts will yield similar results, lies at the heart of all common law systems.
Mens rea is the mental element of a person's intention to commit a crime; or knowledge that one's action or lack of action would cause a crime to be committed. It is a necessary element of many crimes.
Actus reus, sometimes called the external element or the objective element of a crime, is the Latin term for the "guilty act" which, when proved beyond a reasonable doubt in combination with the mens rea, "guilty mind", produces criminal liability in the common law-based criminal law jurisdictions of England and Wales, Canada, Australia, India, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, Scotland, Nigeria, Ghana, Ireland, Israel and the United States of America. In the United States of America, some crimes also require proof of an attendant circumstance.
In the United States, Kenya, Scotland and several other English-speaking Commonwealth nations, subornation of perjury, which is attempting to induce another person to commit perjury, is itself a crime.
Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in Africa with 47 semiautonomous counties governed by elected governors. At 580,367 square kilometres (224,081 sq mi), Kenya is the world's 48th largest country by total area. With a population of more than 52.2 million people, Kenya is the 27th most populous country. Kenya's capital and largest city is Nairobi while its oldest city and first capital is the coastal city of Mombasa. Kisumu City is the third largest city and also an inland port on Lake Victoria. Other important urban centres include Nakuru and Eldoret.
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and the North Channel to the southwest. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally known as the Commonwealth, and historically the British Commonwealth, is a unique political association of 53 member states, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, and the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations between member states.
The offence of perjury is codified by section 132 of the Criminal Code. It is defined by section 131, which provides:
The Criminal Code is a law that codifies most criminal offences and procedures in Canada. Its official long title is "An Act respecting the criminal law". Section 91(27) of the Constitution Act, 1867 establishes the sole jurisdiction of Parliament over criminal law in Canada.
(1) Subject to subsection (3), every one commits perjury who, with intent to mislead, makes before a person who is authorized by law to permit it to be made before him a false statement under oath or solemn affirmation, by affidavit, solemn declaration or deposition or orally, knowing that the statement is false.
(1.1) Subject to subsection (3), every person who gives evidence under subsection 46(2) of the Canada Evidence Act, or gives evidence or a statement pursuant to an order made under section 22.2 of the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, commits perjury who, with intent to mislead, makes a false statement knowing that it is false, whether or not the false statement was made under oath or solemn affirmation in accordance with subsection (1), so long as the false statement was made in accordance with any formalities required by the law of the place outside Canada in which the person is virtually present or heard.
(2) Subsection (1) applies, whether or not a statement referred to in that subsection is made in a judicial proceeding.
(3) Subsections (1) and (1.1) do not apply to a statement referred to in either of those subsections that is made by a person who is not specially permitted, authorized or required by law to make that statement.
As to corroboration, see section 133.
Mode of trial and sentence
Every one who commits perjury is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
A person who, before the Court of Justice of the European Union, swears anything which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true is, whatever his nationality, guilty of perjury.Proceedings for this offence may be taken in any place in the State and the offence may for all incidental purposes be treated as having been committed in that place.
Perjury is a statutory offence in England and Wales. It is created by section 1(1) of the Perjury Act 1911. Section 1 of that Act reads:
(1) If any person lawfully sworn as a witness or as an interpreter in a judicial proceeding wilfully makes a statement material in that proceeding, which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true, he shall be guilty of perjury, and shall, on conviction thereof on indictment, be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding seven years, or to imprisonment . . . for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine or to both such penal servitude or imprisonment and fine.
(2) The expression "judicial proceeding" includes a proceeding before any court, tribunal, or person having by law power to hear, receive, and examine evidence on oath.
(3) Where a statement made for the purposes of a judicial proceeding is not made before the tribunal itself, but is made on oath before a person authorised by law to administer an oath to the person who makes the statement, and to record or authenticate the statement, it shall, for the purposes of this section, be treated as having been made in a judicial proceeding.
(4) A statement made by a person lawfully sworn in England for the purposes of a judicial proceeding-
- (a) in another part of His Majesty’s dominions; or
- (b) in a British tribunal lawfully constituted in any place by sea or land outside His Majesty’s dominions; or
- (c) in a tribunal of any foreign state,
shall, for the purposes of this section, be treated as a statement made in a judicial proceeding in England.
(5) Where, for the purposes of a judicial proceeding in England, a person is lawfully sworn under the authority of an Act of Parliament-
- (a) in any other part of His Majesty’s dominions; or
- (b) before a British tribunal or a British officer in a foreign country, or within the jurisdiction of the Admiralty of England;
a statement made by such person so sworn as aforesaid (unless the Act of Parliament under which it was made otherwise specifically provides) shall be treated for the purposes of this section as having been made in the judicial proceeding in England for the purposes whereof it was made.
(6) The question whether a statement on which perjury is assigned was material is a question of law to be determined by the court of trial.
The words omitted from section 1(1) were repealed by section 1(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1948.
A person guilty of an offence under section 11(1) of the European Communities Act 1972 may be proceeded against and punished in England and Wales as for an offence under section 1(1).
Section 1(4) has effect in relation to proceedings in the Court of Justice of the European Communities as it has effect in relation to a judicial proceeding in a tribunal of a foreign state.
Section 1(4) applies in relation to proceedings before a relevant convention court under the European Patent Convention as it applies to a judicial proceeding in a tribunal of a foreign state.
A statement made on oath by a witness outside the United Kingdom and given in evidence through a live television link by virtue of section 32 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 must be treated for the purposes of section 1 as having been made in the proceedings in which it is given in evidence.
Section 1 applies in relation to a person acting as an intermediary as it applies in relation to a person lawfully sworn as an interpreter in a judicial proceeding; and for this purpose, where a person acts as an intermediary in any proceeding which is not a judicial proceeding for the purposes of section 1, that proceeding must be taken to be part of the judicial proceeding in which the witness’s evidence is given.
Where any statement made by a person on oath in any proceeding which is not a judicial proceeding for the purposes of section 1 is received in evidence in pursuance of a special measures direction, that proceeding must be taken for the purposes of section 1 to be part of the judicial proceeding in which the statement is so received in evidence.
The definition in section 1(2) is not "comprehensive".
The book "Archbold" said that it appears to be immaterial whether the court, before which the statement is made, has jurisdiction in the particular cause in which the statement is made, because there is no express requirement in the Act that the court be one of "competent jurisdiction" and because the definition in section 1(2) does not appear to require this by implication either.
The actus reus of perjury might be considered to be the making of a statement, whether true or false, on oath in a judicial proceeding, where the person knows the statement to be false or believes it to be false.
Perjury is a conduct crime.
Mode of trial
Perjury is triable only on indictment.
A person convicted of perjury is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years, or to a fine, or to both.
The following cases are relevant:
See also the Crown Prosecution Service sentencing manual.
In Anglo-Saxon legal procedure, the offence of perjury could only be committed by both jurors and by compurgators.With time witnesses began to appear in court they were not so treated despite the fact that their functions were akin to that of modern witnesses. This was due to the fact that their role were not yet differentiated from those of the juror – hence false evidence or perjury by witnesses was not made a crime. Even in the fourteenth century when witnesses started appearing before the jury to testify, perjury by them was not made a punishable offence. The maxim then was that every witness’s evidence on oath was true. Perjury by witnesses began to be punished before the end of fifteenth century by the Star Chamber. The immunity enjoyed by witnesses began also to be whittled down or interfered with by the parliament in England in 1540 with subornation of perjury and, in 1562, with perjury proper. The punishment for the offence then was in the nature of monetary penalty, recoverable in a civil action and, not by penal sanction. In 1613, the Star Chamber declared perjury by a witness to be a punishable offence at common law.
See section 3 of the Maintenance and Embracery Act 1540, the 5 Eliz 1 c 9 (An Act for the Punyshement of suche persones as shall procure or comit any wyllful Perjurye) and the Perjury Act 1728.
The requirement that the statement be material can be traced back to,and has been credited to, Coke. He said:
For if it be not material, then though it be false, yet it is no perjury, because it concerneth not the point in suit, and therefore in effect it is extra-judicial. Also this act giveth remedy to the party grieved, and if the deposition be not material, he cannot be grieved thereby.
Perjury is a statutory offence in Northern Ireland. It is created by article 3(1) of the Perjury (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 (S.I. 1979/1714 (N.I. 19)). This replaces the Perjury Act (Northern Ireland) 1946 (c. 13) (N.I.).
Perjury operates in American law as an inherited principle of the common law of England, which defined the act as the "willful and corrupt giving, upon a lawful oath, or in any form allowed by law to be substituted for an oath, in a judicial proceeding or course of justice, of a false testimony material to the issue or matter of inquiry."William Blackstone touched on the subject in his Commentaries on the Laws of England, establishing perjury as "a crime committed when a lawful oath is administered, in some judicial proceeding, to a person who swears willfully, absolutely, and falsely, in a matter material to the issue or point in question." The punishment for perjury under the common law has varied from death to banishment and has included such grotesque penalties as severing the tongue of the perjurer. The definitional structure of perjury provides an important framework for legal proceedings, as the component parts of this definition have permeated jurisdictional lines, finding a home in American legal constructs. As such, the main tenets of perjury, including mens rea, a lawful oath, occurring during a judicial proceeding, a false testimony have remained necessary pieces of perjury’s definition in the United States.
Perjury’s current position in the American legal system takes the form of state and federal statutes. Most notably, the United States Code prohibits perjury, which is defined in two senses for federal purposes as someone who:
(1) Having taken an oath before a competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any case in which a law of the United States authorizes an oath to be administered, that he will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly, or that any written testimony, declaration, deposition, or certificate by him subscribed, is true, willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true; or
(2) in any declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury as permitted under section 1746 of title 28, United States Code, willfully subscribes as true any material matter which he does not believe to be true
The above statute provides for a fine and/or up to five years in prison as punishment. Within federal jurisdiction, statements made in two broad categories of judicial proceedings may qualify as perjurious: 1) Federal official proceedings, and 2) Federal Court or Grand Jury proceedings. A third type of perjury entails the procurement of perjurious statements from another person.More generally, the statement must occur in the "course of justice," but this definition leaves room open for interpretation. One particularly precarious aspect of this phrasing is that it entails knowledge of the accused person’s perception of the truthful nature of events and not necessarily the actual truth of those events. It is important to note the distinction here, between giving a false statement under oath and merely misstating a fact accidentally, though this distinction can be especially difficult to discern in court of law.
The development of perjury law in the United States centers on United States v. Dunnigan, a seminal case that set out the parameters of perjury within United States law. The court uses the Dunnigan-based legal standard to determine if an accused person, "[T]estifying under oath or affirmation violates this section if she gives false testimony concerning a material matter with the willful intent to provide false testimony, rather than as a result of confusion, mistake, or faulty memory."However, a defendant shown to be willfully ignorant may in fact be eligible for perjury prosecution. The Dunnigan distinction manifests its importance with regard to the relation between two component parts of perjury’s definition: in willfully giving a false statement, a person must understand that she is giving a false statement to be considered a perjurer under the Dunnigan framework. Deliberation on the part of the defendant is required for a statement to constitute perjury. Jurisprudential developments in the American law of perjury have revolved around the facilitation of "perjury prosecutions and thereby enhance the reliability of testimony before federal courts and grand juries." With this goal in mind, Congress has sometimes expanded the grounds on which an individual may be prosecuted for perjury, with section 1623 of the United States Code recognizing the utterance of two mutually incompatible statements as grounds for perjury indictment even if neither can unequivocally be proven false. However, the two statements must be so mutually incompatible that at least one must necessarily be false; it is irrelevant whether the false statement can be specifically identified from among the two. It thus falls on the government to show that a defendant (a) knowingly made a (b) false (c) material statement (d) under oath (e) in a legal proceeding. These proceedings can be ancillary to normal court proceedings, and thus, even such menial interactions as bail hearings can qualify as protected proceedings under this statute.
Wilfulness is an element of the offense. The mere existence of two mutually exclusive factual statements is not sufficient to prove perjury; the prosecutor nonetheless has the duty to plead and prove statement was willfully made. Mere contradiction will not sustain the charge; there must be strong corroborative evidence of the contradiction.
One significant legal distinction lies in the specific realm of knowledge necessarily possessed by a defendant for her statements to be properly called perjury. Though the defendant must knowingly render a false statement in a legal proceeding or under federal jurisdiction, the defendant need not know that they are speaking under such conditions for the statement to constitute perjury.All tenets of perjury qualification persist–the “knowingly” aspect of telling the false statement simply does not apply to the defendant’s knowledge about the person she intends to deceive.
Perjury law’s evolution in the United States has experienced the most debate with regards to the materiality requirement. Fundamentally, statements that are literally true cannot provide the basis for a perjury charge(as they do not meet the falsehood requirement) just as answers to truly ambiguous statements cannot constitute perjury. However, such fundamental truths of perjury law become muddled when discerning the materiality of a given statement and the way in which it was material to the given case. In United States v. Brown, the court defined material statements as those with "a natural tendency to influence, or is capable of influencing, the decision of the decision-making body to be addressed," such as a jury or grand jury. While courts have specifically made clear certain instances which have succeeded or failed to meet the nebulous threshold for materiality, the topic remains unresolved in large part, except in certain legal areas where intent manifests itself in an abundantly clear fashion, such as with the so-called perjury trap, a specific situation in which a prosecutor calls a person to testify before a grand jury with the intent of drawing a perjurious statement from the person being questioned.
Despite a tendency of American perjury law toward broad prosecutory power under perjury statutes, American perjury law has afforded potential defendants a new form of defense not found in the British Common Law. This defense requires that an individual admit to making a perjurious statement during that same proceeding and recanting the statement.Though this defensive loophole slightly narrows the types of cases which may be prosecuted for perjury, the effect of this statutory defense is to promote a truthful retelling of facts by witnesses, thus helping to ensure the reliability of American court proceedings just as broadened perjury statutes aimed to do.
Subornation of perjury stands as a subset of American perjury laws and prohibits an individual from inducing another to commit perjury.Subornation of perjury entails equivalent possible punishments as perjury on the federal level. This crime requires an extra level of satisfactory proof, as prosecutors must show not only that perjury occurred, but also that the defendant positively induced said perjury. Furthermore, the inducing defendant must know that the suborned statement is a false, perjurious statement.
Notable people who have been accused of perjury include:
Contempt of court, often referred to simply as "contempt", is the offense of being disobedient to or disrespectful toward a court of law and its officers in the form of behavior that opposes or defies the authority, justice and dignity of the court. A very similar attitude towards a legislative body is termed contempt of Parliament or contempt of Congress.
Double jeopardy is a procedural defence that prevents an accused person from being tried again on the same charges and on the same facts, following a valid acquittal or conviction. As described by the U.S. Supreme Court in its unanimous decision concerning Ball v. United States 163 U.S. 662 (1896), one of its earliest cases dealing with double jeopardy, "the prohibition is not against being twice punished, but against being twice put in jeopardy; and the accused, whether convicted or acquitted, is equally put in jeopardy at the first trial."
An arrest warrant is a warrant issued by a judge or magistrate on behalf of the state, which authorizes the arrest and detention of an individual, or the search and seizure of an individual's property.
Obstruction of justice, in United States jurisdictions, is a process crime consisting of obstructing prosecutors, investigators, or other government officials. Common law jurisdictions other than the United States tend to use the wider offense of perverting the course of justice.
The right to silence is a legal principle which guarantees any individual the right to refuse to answer questions from law enforcement officers or court officials. It is a legal right recognized, explicitly or by convention, in many of the world's legal systems.
Perverting the course of justice is an offence committed when a person prevents justice from being served on him/herself or on another party. In England and Wales it is a common law offence, carrying a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Statutory versions of the offence exist in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, and New Zealand. The Scottish equivalent is defeating the ends of justice, while the South African counterpart is defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
False arrest is a common law tort, where a plaintiff alleges they were held in custody without probable cause, or without an order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. Although it is possible to sue law enforcement officials for false arrest, the usual defendants in such cases are private security firms.
Self-incrimination is the act of exposing oneself generally, by making a statement, "to an accusation or charge of crime; to involve oneself or another [person] in a criminal prosecution or the danger thereof". Self-incrimination can occur either directly or indirectly: directly, by means of interrogation where information of a self-incriminatory nature is disclosed; or indirectly, when information of a self-incriminatory nature is disclosed voluntarily without pressure from another person.
In American law, Scots law, and under the laws of some English-speaking Commonwealth nations, subornation of perjury is the crime of persuading a person to commit perjury, which is the swearing of a false oath to tell the truth in a legal proceeding, whether spoken or written.
Precognition in Scots law is the practice of taking a factual statement from witnesses by both prosecution and defence after indictment or claim but before trial. This is often undertaken by trainee lawyers or precognition officers employed by firms; anecdotal evidence suggests many of these are former policemen.
In the law of criminal evidence, a confession is a statement by a suspect in crime which is adverse to that person. Some secondary authorities, such as Black's Law Dictionary, define a confession in more narrow terms, e.g. as "a statement admitting or acknowledging all facts necessary for conviction of a crime," which would be distinct from a mere admission of certain facts that, if true, would still not, by themselves, satisfy all the elements of the offense. The equivalent in civil cases is a statement against interest.
Making false statements is the common name for the United States federal process crime laid out in Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which generally prohibits knowingly and willfully making false or fraudulent statements, or concealing information, in "any matter within the jurisdiction" of the federal government of the United States, even by merely denying guilt when asked by a federal agent. A number of notable people have been convicted under the section, including Martha Stewart, Rod Blagojevich, Michael T. Flynn, Rick Gates, Scooter Libby, Bernard Madoff, and Jeffrey Skilling.
Sworn testimony is evidence given by a witness who has made a commitment to tell the truth. If the witness is later found to have lied whilst bound by the commitment, they can often be charged with the crime of perjury. The types of commitment can include oaths, affirmations and promises which are explained in more detail below. The exact wording of the commitments vary from country to country.
The hearsay provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 reformed the common law relating to the admissibility of hearsay evidence in criminal proceedings begun on or after 4 April 2005.
Physical evidence is any material object that plays some role in the matter that gave rise to the litigation, introduced as evidence in a judicial proceeding to prove a fact in issue based on the object's physical characteristics.
A statutory declaration is a legal document defined under the law of certain Commonwealth nations. It is similar to a statement made under oath, however, it is not sworn.
Perjury is the name of an offence under the Criminal Code. The offence of false evidence under the Penal Code is equivalent.
The Perjury Act 1911 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It creates the offence of perjury and a number of similar offences.
The Evidence Act 2006 is an Act of the Parliament of New Zealand that codifies the laws of evidence. When enacted, the Act drew together the common law and statutory provisions relating to evidence into one comprehensive scheme, replacing most of the previous evidence law on the admissibility and use of evidence in court proceedings.
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