Pass these sirens by: Further thoughts on narrative and admissibility rules

Doron Menashe, Hamutal Esther Shamash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fact finders assess the relative plausibility of stories presented by comparing them to narratives which have gained general acceptance, some of which are hegemonic narratives. In doing so, they run the risk of choosing a narrative that does not accurately represent the historic truth of events in suit, as a narrative with which to compare the stories offered by parties. Once fact finders choose an inappropriate narrative, they may commit the narrative fallacy and choose to grant increased weight to evidence that coheres with the inappropriate narrative, and to disregard evidence that does not, rather than discard the narrative when subsequent evidence tends to show that it is inappropriate. Admission of prejudicial evidence may trigger the use of inappropriate narratives that are hegemonic, or at least prejudicial, leading to inaccurate fact finding. Seen in that light, despite arguments to the contrary made by Robert Burns and by Ronald Allen, further relaxation of admissibility rules towards a "free proof" system would be undesirable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalInternational Commentary on Evidence
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007


  • Admissibility
  • Atomism
  • Evidence
  • Hegemonic narrative
  • Holism
  • Narrative
  • Prejudice
  • Relative plausibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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