Best Evidence Rule

Best evidence rule — «правило о предъявлении наилучших возможных доказательств» — is a rule of evidence that demands that the original of any document, photograph or recording be used as evidence at trial, rather than a copy. A copy will be allowed only if the original is unavailable. This is a common law rule which goes back as far as the 18th century.

This rule does not seem to exist in Russia. Courts routinely admit copies of documents as evidence. Even when there is a dispute about the content of a document, the issue of admissibility does not arise. Moreover, article 75 of the Code of Commercial Procedure directly states that «written evidence is submitted to the commercial court in the original or in the form of a properly certified copy».