What is an Exhibit

An Exhibit is defined by the Ministry of Justice, in the Criminal Procedure Rules as being: “a document or thing presented as evidence in court”

In the Practice Directions for the Civil Procedure Rules (Part 34) it states that documents and exhibits must be produced in the following manner:

  • have an identifying number or letter marked on them by the
  • be preserved by the party or his legal representative who obtained examination, or as the court or the examiner may direct.

Interestingly there is no requirement for a “chain of custody” under UK law, however there is an expectation that the following procedures will be put in place:

  • use of evidence bags
  • chain of custody
  • safes/secure storage

The ACPO guidelines, also talk about exhibits and the importance of handling procedures.

While the ACPO guidelines are not law, and there is not a statutory requirement to follow for a chain of custody, it is expected that one will be provided.


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