5.3 Weight of Evidence



The weight of evidence is based on the believability or persuasiveness of evidence. Particular evidence has different weight in inducing belief regarding to the facts and circumstances to be proved. Evidence that is undetermined, imprecise, or doubtful will be given less weight than evidence that is direct and un-refuted. For example, a criminal defendant's testimony that he had never been at the scene of a crime would be given little weight if his fingerprints were found at the crime scene and witnesses testify they saw him at the scene. Similarly, evidence given by a witness who testifies from personal observation is of greater weight than evidence offered by a witness who is testifying from general knowledge alone.2

Section 90B of the Evidence Act 1950 deals with weight to be attached to document or statement contained in a document, admitted under Section 90A of the same act.

The court have the power to determine the weight of the evidence by looking into the circumstances relating to the evidence. It also can take into account the time of occurrence or existence of the document and the supply of the relevant matter to the computer and whether the supplier of the document or the document itself has any incentive to conceal or misinterpret the information stated in the document or statement; in determining the weight of the evidence.

The parties who wants to use the document or statement in a document as evidence in court should show that there is a minimal risk of alteration and corruption to the document. Matters regarding the security procedures available and any possibility of unauthorized access will be considered in determining the authenticity of the document. In determining the accuracy of the statements contained in an electronic transmission, the possibility of the message being corrupted by the computer transmission shall be considered.

The existence of technology such as encryption, codes or call-back verification procedures can be used to verify the authenticity of documents or statements in a document produced by a computer that is presented as evidence in the court.


  1. Lee Swee Seng. 2005. Electronic Evidence in Malaysia. In Zaid Hamzah (author). E-Security Law & Strategy, page 149-150. Malaysia: Malayan Law Journal.     
  2. 2009. Weight of evidence legal definition of Weight of evidence. Weight of Evidence synonyms by The Free Online Dictionary. The Free Dictionary by Farlex. 1. (online) http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Weight+of+evidence (21 August 2009).





NurFarahiyah_Othman said...


meaning, authentication of the document must be done before it can be considered as best evidence?

nn said...

salam kak farah,

the answer to your question is yes. as a matter of fact, all evidence needs to be proven as authentic in order to be accepted as evidence in the court.

do correct me if im wrong as i am still learning :)

thanks for your question.

nadhirah na'iemah