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Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

6. Witnesses  

This chapter discusses the following: (i) the competence and compellability of witnesses (including the special rules that apply in the case of the accused, the spouse or civil partner of an accused, persons with a disorder or disability of the mind, the Sovereign, diplomats, and bankers); (ii) oaths and affirmations; (iii) the use of live links; (iv) the time at which evidence should be adduced; (v) witnesses in civil cases (including the witnesses to be called and the use of witness statements); (vi) witnesses in criminal cases (including the witnesses to be called, the order of witnesses, evidence-in-chief by video recording and special measures directions for vulnerable and intimidated witnesses); (vii) witness anonymity; and (viii) witness training and familiarization.

Chapter

Cover Murphy on Evidence

6. Witnesses  

Competence and compellability; oaths and affirmations

This chapter is divided into two parts. The first part discusses the law on witness competence and compatibility. The general rule of law in England and Wales is that all witnesses, including children, are competent (able to give evidence) and witnesses are also compellable (liable to be required to give evidence subject to sanction for contempt). Particular rules apply to children and persons under disability, the accused in a criminal case, and spouses and civil partners. The second part deals with oaths and affirmations, covering the requirement of sworn evidence; the effect of oaths and affirmations; and exceptions to the requirement of sworn evidence.