- Over the course of the criminal trial, the Prosecution will present the evidence to persuade the Court to conclude that they have proven beyond reasonable doubt that you have committed the offence alleged. Likewise, you will also present your evidence to persuade the Court to accept your basis for disputing the offence alleged or to conclude that your guilt has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt.
- The Prosecution will present their evidence first and the Defence (i.e. you or your lawyer) will present their evidence after the Prosecution has finished presenting all their evidence.
- The following procedure is followed when either of the parties (i.e. the Prosecution or Defence) present their evidence:
- The party (e.g. Prosecution) will call their witnesses to testify and give evidence.
- The party or its lawyer (e.g. Prosecuting Officer) will conduct the examination-in-chief (EIC) of each witness to introduce his respective evidence.
- After the EIC of each witness has been completed, the opposing party’s lawyer (e.g. Defence Counsel) will be allowed to conduct the cross-examination of the witness by asking him questions.
- The purpose of the cross-examination is to challenge or contradict the testimony given by the witness, such as by using the contents of documents to contradict what he had said earlier in his testimony.
- After the cross-examination, the party or its lawyer (e.g. Prosecuting Officer) will be allowed to conduct the re-examination of the witness by asking him to explain the answers he had provided during cross-examination.
After all the Prosecution’s witnesses have testified and given evidence, the witnesses in support of your defence will then give evidence according to the same procedure that was used for the examination of the Prosecution’s witnesses i.e. examination-in-chief followed by cross-examination and then re-examination.