Saturday, March 31, 2018


Easter is providing a welcome break for the BBC news bods being 'prepared' for the trial hearing in the cae brought against the Corportation by Sir Cliff Richard.

Of course, there is a fundamental rule for barristers: “you must not rehearse, practise with or coach a witness in respect of their evidence”.

It is ok "to familiarise witnesses with the layout of the court, the likely sequence of events when the witness is giving evidence, and a balanced appraisal of the different responsibilities of the various participants"

"Such arrangements prevent witnesses from being disadvantaged by ignorance of the process or taken by surprise at the way in which it works, and so assist witnesses to give their best at the trial or hearing in question without any risk that their evidence may become anything other than the witnesses' own uncontaminated evidence. As such, witness familiarisation arrangements are not only permissible; they are to be welcomed."

"It is also appropriate, as part of a witness familiarisation process, for counsel to advise witnesses as to the basic requirements for giving evidence, e.g. the need to listen to and answer the question put, to speak clearly and slowly in order to ensure that the Court hears what the witness is saying, and to avoid irrelevant comments. This is consistent with the duty to the Court to ensure that one’s client's case is presented clearly and without undue waste of the Court's time."

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