Keeping Up Is Hard to Do:
A Trial Judge’s Reading Blog

…while courts appear to accept that narrative evidence is a hearsay exception, these are two distinct concepts with distinct rules. The author suggests and I agree that to guard against narrative evidence becoming probative circumstantial evidence, narrative evidence should only be tendered to contextualize relevant evidence for the purpose of making that evidence intelligible or sensible. The guiding principle of narrative evidence is, therefore, necessity, and the central question surrounding the admissibility of prejudicial narrative evidence is this: is the proffered evidence essential for making some relevant part of the Crown’s case intelligible or sensible? This is different from the guiding principle of hearsay evidence, which is reliability and necessity, where “necessity” refers to the unavailability of original or best evidence, not the importance of providing context for other original or second-best evidence.