Day 112 - 31 Mar 95 - Page 03

     2   Q.   By the way, is that standard practice, to give a month's
     3        notice of a MAFF visit?
     4        A.  Yes, it is.
     6   Q.   Does the EC also give notice of visits?
     7        A.  Yes, they do.
     9   Q.   So, could you just explain the circumstances of the file
    10        that we were seeking so we can clarify what it is that we
    11        are seeking?
    12        A.  As far as my memory serves me, when I took over the OVS
    13        duties at Jarretts, I had already seen most of the
    14        correspondence between MAFF, Jarrett and the Local Council
    15        and the OVS at the Council offices where they kept copies
    16        of these because, basically, all the MAFF correspondence
    17        goes -- it is directed, normally directed, to the Council,
    18        to the Environmental Health Office, and they usually copy
    19        it to the OVS.
    21        But most of this material, most of these documents
    22        obviously, also are in the OVS's offices.  They were in
    23        separate different files or, since the documents date back
    24        up to five years, as far as I can remember, they were kept
    25        in separate files and folders in the OVS's offices when
    26        I took over the duties.
    28        I arranged them all in a chronological order in drop in
    29        files, since I did not have any folders.  I arranged them
    30        in a chronological order in a drop in file in the filing
    31        cabinet in the OVS's office and called it "MAFF
    32        correspondence file".  That is the file that I .......
    34   Q.   That is what I requested from Eville and Jones.  I am not
    35        sure what the legal situation is now.  Obviously, we could
    36        get a subpoena to get some -----
    38   MR. JUSTICE BELL:  I had another look at Phipson overnight where
    39        the original -- essentially, what you have to do is to give
    40        the best evidence of the contents of a document, assuming
    41        it is relevant, that is the document itself with certain
    42        exceptions which, so far as I can see, do not apply to this
    43        case.  What I will do is when I have said this, I will lend
    44        you my copy of Phipson.  If you want to take it home for
    45        the weekend, you can.  You can see the bits which I have
    46        flagged and I will leave those flags in.
    48        But, the essence of it is that you should give the best
    49        evidence of the contents of a document because that is the
    50        most reliable evidence of its contents, and the best 
    51        evidence of the contents of the document is the document 
    52        itself although, obviously, photocopies are acceptable in 
    53        the present day and age.
    55        When the original document is in the possession of a
    56        stranger, as Phipson calls it, which means someone who is
    57        not a party to the litigation and cannot be compelled by a
    58        party to the litigation to produce documents, the situation
    59        from just looking at Phipson, but not looking at any of the
    60        cases which are referred to, is:  "When the stranger is

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