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8 - Witness Evidence in Pre-Trial and Trial Procedure

from Part II - Criminal Procedure

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 February 2022

Kai Ambos
Affiliation:
Judge Kosovo Specialist Chambers, The Hague
Antony Duff
Affiliation:
University of Stirling
Alexander Heinze
Affiliation:
Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany
Julian Roberts
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
Thomas Weigend
Affiliation:
University of Cologne (Emeritus)
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Summary

Witness evidence continues to occupy a central place in criminal trials. Laypersons who have witnessed crimes are called to narrate their experiences in court and experts are frequently called as witnesses to explain, interpret and justify an ever-expanding range of different types of forensic evidence collected before trial.1 Given concerns about the reliability of witness evidence, it is not surprising that it has been much discussed and is specially mentioned in the various conventions and constitutional provisions guaranteeing a fair trial.2 Much attention has focused on the different methods for controlling the manner in which such evidence is heard and challenged through the lens of the adversarial and inquisitorial categories that have long dominated and polarised comparative scholarship.3 More recently, however, it has been argued that although the methods for questioning witnesses still differ greatly, a convergence between common law and civil law systems is occurring as systems adapt towards adversarial influences and human rights requirements.4

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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