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corroborationthe doctrine in the law of evidence that material facts require to be proved by evidence from two independent sources as, for example, two eyewitnesses or one witness and facts and circumstances. It is often said to be very important in preventing miscarriages of justice, but the fact is often overlooked that the effect of a rule on corroboration maybe to produce two lying witnesses instead of just one. Then, if the lies are not exposed, the effect on a jury is all the stronger. Its benefit is that if two witnesses are lying it should be easier to catch them out. The story of Susanna and the Elders in the Book of Daniel in the Bible has entrenched the idea in the Judaeo-Christian world. Even in Scots criminal law, which holds the doctrine in high esteem, the rigour of the rule is relaxed in relation to confessions that show a special knowledge of the crime that only the perpetrator would know. There are many statutory relaxations of the rule both in England and Scotland. It is seldom required in either jurisdiction in civil cases. See also MOOROV DOCTRINE.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006