1 In civil proceedings, a statement by a party to litigation or by his duly authorized agent that is adverse to the party's case. Admissions may be informal (i.e. in a document or by word of mouth) or formal (i.e. made in a statement of case or in reply to a request for further information).
2 In criminal proceedings, a statement by the defendant admitting an offence or a fact. Admissions may be informal or formal. An informal admission is called a confession. A formal admission may be made either before or at the hearing, but if not made in court, it must be in writing and signed by the defendant or his legal adviser. A formal admission may be made in respect of any fact about which oral evidence could be given and is conclusive evidence of the fact admitted at all criminal proceedings relating to the matter, although it may be withdrawn at any stage with the permission of the court. A plea of guilty to a charge read out in court is a formal admission. See also caution.