(i) The party proposing to prove them shows that he is entitled to give secondary evidence of the contents of such document; or (ii) The genuineness of a document produced is in question.
The English Law on the point was laid down in Slatterie v. Pooley, where it was held that the oral admission of a party as to the contents of a document is admissible, even when the document might have been produced as evidence against him, when such contents are directly in issue. Although this leading decision has held the field in England since 1840, it has received much criticism and has been applied with several modifications. The decision was disapproved in the Irish case of Lawless v. Dueale, where the Judge opined that the doctrine laid down in Slatterie v. Pooley “is a most dangerous proposition.
” It is to be noted that S. 22 of the Act has rejected the rule laid down in Slatterie v. Pooley, and has adopted the view of the Irish case, Lawless v. Dueale. The effect of this section, read with S. 65(b), is that the contents of a document may be proved by the written admission of the person against whom it is to be used, but cannot be proved by oral admission, except when the document itself is not forthcoming for one of the reasons mentioned in S.