Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-7d684dbfc8-d9hj2 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-09-28T08:07:05.740Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForArticlePurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForBookPurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForElementPurchase": false, "coreUseNewShare": true, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

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


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

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Advisory Group on Video Evidence, Report, London, Home Office (1988).Google Scholar
Allen, R., Kock, S., Riecherberg, K. and Rosen, D. T., ‘The German Advantage in Civil Procedure: A Plea for More Details and Fewer Generalities in Comparative Scholarship’, Northwestern University Law Review, 82 (1988), 705–62.Google Scholar
Ambos, K., Treatise on International Criminal Law, Vol. III: International Criminal Procedure, Oxford University Press (2016).Google Scholar
Ambos, K. European Criminal Law, Cambridge University Press (2018).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ambos, K. and Heinze, A., ‘Abbreviated Procedures in Comparative Criminal Procedure: A Structural Approach with a View to International Criminal Procedure’, in Bergsmo, M. (ed.), Abbreviated Criminal Procedures for Core International Crimes, Brussels, Torkel Opsahl (2017), 27100.Google Scholar
Bachmaier, L., ‘Rights and Methods to Challenge Evidence and Witnesses in Civil Law Jurisdictions’, in Brown, D., Turner, J. I. and Weisser, B. (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Criminal Process, Oxford University Press (2019), 841–55.Google Scholar
Bond, C. F. and DePaulo, B. M., ‘Accuracy of Deception Judgments’, Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10 (2006), 214.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cape, E., ‘Transposing the EU Directive on the Right to Information: A Firecracker or a Damp Squib?’, Criminal Law Review (2015), 4867.Google Scholar
Combs, N., Fact-Finding without Facts, Cambridge University Press (2010).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Damaška, M., ‘Of Hearsay and Its Analogues’, Minnesota Law Review, 76 (1992), 425–58.Google Scholar
Damaška, M. Evaluation of Evidence: Pre-Modern and Modern Approaches, Cambridge University Press (2019).Google Scholar
Dennis, I., ‘The Right to Confront Witnesses: Meanings, Myths and Human Rights’, Criminal Law Review (2010), 255–74.Google Scholar
Frase, R. S. and Weigend, T., ‘German Criminal Justice as a Guide to American Law Reform: Similar Problems, Better Solutions?’, Boston College International and Comparative Law Review, 18 (1995), 317–60.Google Scholar
Giannoulopoulos, D., ‘“North of the Border and across the Channel”: Custodial Legal Assistance Reforms in Scotland and France’, Criminal Law Review (2013), 369–84.Google Scholar
Giannoulopoulos, D. ‘Strasbourg Jurisprudence, Law Reform and Comparative Law: A Tale of the Right to Custodial Legal Assistance in Five Countries’, Human Rights Law Review, 16 (2016), 103–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Giannoulopoulos, D. Improperly Obtained Evidence in Anglo-American and Continental Law, Oxford and London, Hart and Bloomsbury (2019).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goldstein, A. S. and Marcus, M., ‘The Myth of Judicial Supervision in Three “Inquisitorial” Systems: France, Italy and Germany’, Yale Law Journal, 87 (1977), 240–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Heger, M., ‘Öffentlichkeit, Mündlichkeit, Unmittelbarkeit’, in Hilgendorf, E., Kudlich, H. and Valerius, B. (eds.), Handbuch des Strafrechts, Heidelberg, C. F. Müller (2020), Vol. 7, 461501.Google Scholar
Hodgson, J., The Metamorphosis of Criminal Justice, Oxford University Press (2020).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jackson, J. D., ‘In Defence of a Voluntariness Doctrine for Confessions: The Queen v. Johnston Revisited’, Irish Jurist, 21 (1986), 208–46.Google Scholar
Jackson, J. D., ‘Recent Developments in Criminal Evidence’, Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 40 (1989), 105–30.Google Scholar
Jackson, J. D.Silence and Proof: Extending the Boundaries of Criminal Proceedings in the United Kingdom’, International Journal of Evidence & Proof, 5 (2001), 145–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jackson, J. D.Cultural Barriers on the Road to Providing Suspects with Access to a Lawyer’, in Colson, R. and Field, S. (eds.), EU Criminal Justice and the Challenges of Diversity, Cambridge University Press (2016), 181–98.Google Scholar
Jackson, J. D.Responses to Salduz: Procedural Tradition, Change and the Need for Effective Defence’, Modern Law Review, 79 (2016), 9871018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jackson, J. D. and Summers, S. J., The Internationalisation of Criminal Evidence, Cambridge University Press (2012).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Judicial College, Crown Court Compendium: Part 1 (2018).Google Scholar
Kreicker, H.§ 253’, in Knauer, C., Kudlich, H. and Schneider, H. (eds.), Münchener Kommentar zur Strafprozessordnung, Munich, C. H. Beck (2016), Vol. 2.Google Scholar
Kudlich, H. and Schuhr, J. C., ‘§ 252’, ‘§ 253’, in Satzger, H. and Schluckebier, W. (eds.), Strafprozessordnung, 4th edn, Munich, C. H. Beck (2020).Google Scholar
Langbein, J. H., ‘Controlling Prosecutorial Discretion in Germany’, University of Chicago Law Review, 41 (1974), 4398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Langbein, J. H.Trashing the German Advantage’, Northwestern University Law Review, 82 (1988), 763–84.Google Scholar
Langbein, J. H. and Weinreb, L., ‘Continental Criminal Procedure: “Myth” and Reality’, Yale Law Journal, 87 (1978), 1549–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Langer, M., ‘From Legal Transplants to Legal Translations: The Globalization of Plea Bargaining and the Americanization Thesis in Criminal Procedure’, Harvard International Law Journal, 55 (2007), 164.Google Scholar
Langer, M.The Long Shadow of the Adversarial and Inquisitorial Categories’, in Dubber, M. D. and Hörnle, T. (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Criminal Law, Oxford University Press (2014), 887912.Google Scholar
Law Commission, Evidence in Criminal Proceedings and Related Matters (1995), Consultation Paper No. 138.Google Scholar
Law Commission, Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: Hearsay and Related Matters (1997), Report No. 245.Google Scholar
Maffei, S., The Right to Confrontation in Europe: Absent, anonymous and vulnerable witnesses, 2nd edn, Groningen, Europa Law Publishing (2012).Google Scholar
McConville, M. and Marsh, L., The Myth of Judicial Independence, Oxford University Press (2020).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Meyer-Goßner, L. and Schmitt, B., Strafprozessordnung, 63rd edn, Munich, C. H. Beck (2020).Google Scholar
Ministry of Justice, Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings, London, Ministry of Justice (2016).Google Scholar
Ministry of Justice, Criminal Court Statistics Quarterly, London, Ministry of Justice (2019).Google Scholar
Munday, R. (ed.), Cross & Tapper on Evidence, 9th edn, Oxford University Press (2018).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Munro, V., The Impact of the Use of Pre-Recorded Evidence on Juror Decision Making, Edinburgh, Scottish Government (2018).Google Scholar
Nance, D., ‘Understanding Responses to Hearsay: An Extension of the Comparative Analysis’, Minnesota Law Review, 76 (1992), 459–72.Google Scholar
Owusu-Bempah, A., Defendant Participation in the Criminal Process, Routledge (2017).Google Scholar
Plotnikoff, J. and Woolfson, R., ‘“Kicking and Screaming”: The Slow Road to Best Evidence’, in Spencer, J. R. and Lamb, M. (eds.), Children and Cross-Examination: Time to Change the Rules?, Oxford and London, Hart and Bloomsbury (2012), 2141.Google Scholar
Roberts, A., ‘The Frailties of Human Memory and the Accused’s Right to Accurate Procedures’, Criminal Law Review (2019), 912–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Roberts, P. (ed.), Expert Evidence and Scientific Proof in Criminal Trials, Farnham, UK, Ashgate (2011).Google Scholar
Roberts, P. and Zuckerman, A., Criminal Evidence, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press (2010).Google Scholar
Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure, Report, London, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (1980).Google Scholar
Sentencing Council, Reduction in Sentence for a Guilty Plea, London, Sentencing Council (2017).Google Scholar
Spencer, J. R., Hearsay Evidence in Criminal Proceedings, 2nd edn, Oxford, Hart (2014).Google Scholar
Spencer, J. R. and Lamb, M. E., Children and Cross-Examination. Time to Change the Rules?, Oxford and London, Hart and Bloomsbury (2012).Google Scholar
Sukumar, D., Hodgson, J. and Wade, K., ‘Behind Closed Doors: Live Observations of Current Police Station Disclosure Practices and Lawyer-Client Consultations’, Criminal Law Review (2016), 900–14.Google Scholar
Summers, S. J., Fair Trials: The European Procedural Tradition and the European Court of Human Rights, Oxford, Hart (2007).Google Scholar
Weigend, T., ‘Continental Cures for American Ailments: European Criminal Procedure as a Model for Law Reform’, in Morris, N. and Tonry, M. (eds.), Crime and Justice, Chicago University Press (1980), Vol. 2, 381428.Google Scholar
Weigend, T.Defense Rights in European Systems under the Influence of the European Court of Human Rights’, in Brown, D., Turner, J. I. and Weisser, B. (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Criminal Process, Oxford University Press (2019), 165–88.Google Scholar
Wigmore, J. H., A Treatise on the Anglo-American System of Evidence in Trials at Common Law, Chadbourn revision, Little, Brown (1974), Vol. 5.Google Scholar
Zuckerman, A. S., The Principles of Criminal Evidence, Oxford University Press (1989).Google Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats