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