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.”