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Old 06-04-2011, 06:18 AM
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[29] After all the witnesses have been called, both parties will have an opportunity to address the trial judge to make submissions about what the trial judge's decision should be, based on the testimony that the witnesses have given and the contents of the documents that have been marked as exhibits. The applicant proceeds first, followed by the respondent. The applicant will have an opportunity to reply to submissions made by the respondent (this is different from "Reply Evidence"). You make your closing submissions from the counsel table.
[30] It is important to remember that it is not open to you during your closing submissions to refer to matters that have not been referred to in the evidence. The purpose of your submissions is to outline your claim or defence and to review the evidence that supports your claim or defence and to point out the shortcomings in the evidence led by the opposing party.
Questioning Witnesses
[31] When witnesses are asked questions, certain rules have to be followed. One set of rules applies when you are asking questions of witnesses you have called. When a party questions a witness they have called, this is referred to as "examination in chief'. During the examination in chief of your own witnesses, you are not permitted to ask "leading" questions, unless you are questioning the witness about introductory things or matters that are not in dispute. A leading question is a question that suggests the answer within the question itself. For instance, the question "You did not go to the bank, did you?" is a leading question because it suggests its own answer; that the witness did not go the bank.
[32] Another set of rules applies when you are questioning witnesses that the opposing party has called. This is called "cross-examination". You may cross-examine the witnesses called by the opposing party, although there is no obligation to do so. In cross-examination you are entitled to put suggestions to the witness of what you want the witness to agree with (see above example of a leading question). Generally, the purpose of cross-examination is to test the credibility of the witness and to bring out evidence favourable to your defence.
[33] After a witness has been cross-examined, the party that called the witness may, but does not have to, ask additional questions to clarify or explain matters that have come up in cross-examination. This is called re-examination. When it is finished, the witness' evidence is complete.
[34] Examination in chief always comes first, then cross-examination and then any re-examination. The trial judge may then ask questions of the witness.<O</O
[35] It is important to note that questions asked in court are not evidence and do not form part of the evidence called at the trial. Only the answers to questions are evidence that the trial judge will consider.
[36] Whenever you ask the witness a question, you should allow the witness to finish his or her answer before asking the next question. A record is made of everything that everyone says. If two people talk at the same time, it makes it very difficult to obtain a true and accurate record of the testimony of the witnesses.
[37] Further information as to how to cross-examine a witness is set out below under the headings "Cross-examination" and " Prior Statements".