Faculty of Business and Law

Law Essentials

Law in Practice

Witness Examination Essentials

In Witness Examination, advocates for both the prosecution and the accused obtain relevant and admissible evidence from the witness that will be called in support of their case. This is known as examination-in-chief. Following examination-in-chief opposing legal representatives cross-examine that witness in attempt to undermine the veracity and plausibility of the account given by the witness in examination in chief.

There will finally be an opportunity for the party calling the witness to re-examine the witness over matters that have arisen in the course of cross examination. A witness examination is just a 'snapshot' of the questioning part of a trial.

Video Clips on Witness Examinations

There are some really excellent examples of Witness Examinations (as well as some really bad ones) available on YouTube. Example highlight for fun:

Conduct your own search with the keywords “witness court examination” or from the above videos, view what is in the related box area.

Recommended Books for Witness Examination
  • Wolski, B., Skills, Ethics and Values for Legal Practice, Thomsons Lawbook Co, 2nd edition, 2008
  • Hyams, R., Campbell, S. and Evans, A., Practical Legal Skills, 3rd edition, 2007
Essential Witness Examination Skills Links

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11th October 2013