The Law of Judicial Notice

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Every working day, courts and other tribunals “take judicial notice” of certain matters, accepting specified “facts” without considering supporting evidence to prove their reliability. This makes judicial notice – “the very texture of legal reasoning” – conceptual dynamite, efficient for extracting diamonds of truth but lethal if employed incautiously. In this pioneering book-length study of the subject, Jeffrey Miller surveys the doctrine’s development from the middle ages to the present day, clarifying step by step the often “academicized” ambiguities, and suggesting a more coherent approach and terminology. (How can something be an adjudicative or legislative fact before we determine that it is factual? If we judicially notice what “everybody knows,” what if “everybody” is wrong?)

 From the foreword by Ian Binnie, C.C., Q.C.

“The history and theory of judicial notice provide unusual insights into the judicial process and Professor Miller, in collecting and analysing all of the relevant materials and issues, has taken full advantage of the intrinsic fascination of the subject matter. There are broad discussions for the scholarly and numerous case citations on practical points for practitioners. The book is both learned and readable and deserves a welcome in any law library.”

"... the book is important because it fills a longstanding gap in the existing literature. Previously, the subject of judicial notice was only addressed in passing in the various evidence law texts (and Halsbury’s title on Evidence). This is the first standalone Canadian title on the subject, of which I am aware. As the Honourable Ian Binnie writes in his foreword to the book, "[t]he book is both learned and readable and deserves a welcome in any law library." I concur."

From the book review by Melanie R. Bueckert, Legal Research Counsel, Manitoba Court of Appeal, 2018 Canadian Law Library Review/Revue canadienne des bibliothèques de droit, Volume/Tome 43, No. 2


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