Witness Assessment Program
Program begins at 9.00am – Thursday, 18 September 2014
Program concludes at 4:00pm – Friday, 19 September 2014
The assessment of honesty and reliability is a daily task faced by courts and tribunals, and is of central importance to all first instance courts in cases involving identification issues. It is important that appellate courts understand where the trial court has an advantage (or lacks advantage) in relation to the assessment of witnesses. The program encourages a rigorous and evidence-based approach to the assessment of witnesses, rather than one based on stereotypes.
The delivery of the program is based on interactive learning principles and includes a variety of learning methods.
The overall program objective is that participants will be able to make more accurate decisions about witness reliability and credibility and communicate their findings in cogent, reasoned judgments.
The program’s specific objectives are to give participants the skills:
to make an informed assessment of witness credibility, for example, by taking into account some common social context issues, demeanour and language;
to make an informed assessment of witness reliability, for example, having regard to the issues affecting some vulnerable witnesses;
to deliver clear and persuasive reasons for accepting or rejecting a witness’s testimony.