Witness Testimony Evidence: Argumentation and the Law
Article VI Witnesses. Article XI Miscellaneous. Evidentiary issues in care and protection, child custody, and termination of parental rights cases Section Peremptory Challenges of Potential Jurors Section Civil commitment hearings for mental illness Section Civil commitment hearings for alcohol and substance use disorders. Guide to Evidence Index. Download the Guide to Evidence. The guide may be downloaded as a PDF or ebook.
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Do you have anything else to tell us? Please tell us what you were looking for. Although the book discusses the common epistemic problems that can arise with witness testimony, it ultimately defends the trial's reliance on this form of evidence as rational and justified. The book provides a synoptic discussion of possible ways in which the formal tools may help to analyze and evaluate witness testimony, rather than focusing on the details of one particular model. It thus provides an excellent introduction to evidence for scholars otherwise unfamiliar with the formal tools.
It also provides a useful overview of the philosophical and legal issues that underlie such models, and may thus serve as a foundational text for future work developing the formal methods. Finally, the book will be of interest not only to evidence scholars, those interested in the formal modeling of argumentation, and others interested in the particularities of legal proof.
Those interested in the epistemology of testimony more generally will find that many of the issues, examples, analyses, and arguments have broader philosophical significance and applications beyond the law. The book succeeds in its aims of providing an overview of the field and illuminating the general structure of testimonial evidence in law.
It also provides insightful analysis of numerous examples. The normative and evaluative aspects of the book's analysis, however, are much less developed than the descriptive aspects. Moreover, given the early stages of the models and systems discussed, the book provides more of a sense of the ways in which the analysis and models may contribute in the future, rather than a discussion of how they can currently improve legal decision making.
This review summarizes the book's seven chapters and then concludes with some brief observations about possible contributions and limitations of the formal analysis toward understanding, and perhaps improving, juridical proof. Walton constructs an overarching dialectical model to analyze and evaluate appeals to witness testimony within the structure of legal proof.
Rejecting deductive and probabilistic inductive models, the book presents a model characterized by defeasible, plausibilistic "eikotic" reasoning. The conclusions of this reasoning are defeasible in the sense that "they only hold tentatively and are subject to defeat … as new evidence comes in" 5 ; the arguments function "to shift a weight of presumption" Moreover, the structure of legal proof involves a comparative assessment by the jury of the plausibility of the accounts of the disputed events put forward by each side.
Within this structure, appeals to witness testimony are used to provide information that either supports or attacks these accounts. Chapter One provides an argumentation scheme that illustrates how testimony functions as legal evidence. According to this scheme, appeals to witness testimony are presented as arguments of the following form:. Witness W is in a position to know whether proposition A is true or not. The structure of the argument is one of defeasible modus ponens.
Given the premises, the conclusion holds unless and until the opponent counters with a move that defeats the conclusion, either by challenging a premise or providing an exception to the rule that links the premises and the conclusion. These counter moves typically involve critical questioning of witnesses designed to show problems with the testimony -- such as its internal inconsistency, its inconsistency with known facts, its inconsistency with other testimony or other evidence, witness untrustworthiness or bias, and so on.
These moves and counter-moves take place within the larger context of each side attempting to support its version of events and attack the version put forward by the other side. Chapters Two and Three discuss this larger context in more detail. Appeals to witness testimony take place in a context characterized by plausibility, rather than probability, assessments.
A major difference is that plausibilistic, unlike probabilistic, reasoning rejects the rule of negation, in which the probability of a proposition and its negation must equal 1 -- the parties at trial may advance contradictory theories each of which is highly plausible.
The key task for legal decision-makers is to assess the relative plausibility of these accounts. This assessment proceeds abductively; jurors infer the best explanation of the events and evidence in dispute. In assessing the plausibility of these accounts, jurors fill in gaps in parties' accounts through Gricean implicature, scripts, and "anchored narratives" stories constructed from inferences based on commonsense generalizations about what happens in similar situations.
Parties use appeals to witness testimony to bolster or attack the plausibility of the competing accounts. You should see a lawyer if you have a situation where you think any of these might be needed. There may be other ways to get information too, but these are some of the most common ways that people gather information that may be relevant to the case but that they do not have in their possession.
Family Court Rules. You may be able to do some of your own legal research for your case, but be sure to have a lawyer review your research to make sure that what you have is accurate, up-to-date, and applies to your situation.
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The law is constantly changing. For example, you may have found a case from 5 years ago that closely matches your situation and want to bring that up in court, but there may have been other cases since then that decided something differently. The Primer is available in English and French. Be very careful of what you find online — there is some good information out there, but a lot of bad or inaccurate information too. There may also be a library near you that can help you with some legal research.
Remember that the law works differently in different places — for example, American law is very different from Canadian law. Certain laws are also different between each province and territory in Canada. Generally speaking, the newer the case, and the higher the level of court, the more weight that particular case will be given by a judge. For example, if you can find a recent decision from the Supreme Court of Canada that relates to your case, that will probably be looked at better than an older case, or one from a trial-level court.
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Yes, depending on the situation. If you are going to a docket appearance, conference, or date assignment conference, then these are usually the times when people should be asking for the other person to file all the information that is relevant to the case. Make sure you know what it is you are looking for. Write down notes so that you do not forget to tell the judge.
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The judge may be able to require the other person to provide the information. Do not wait until your matter is already scheduled for a hearing or trial to ask for more information.
It may be too late to get the information by that time. People often make the mistake of thinking that the judge will already know certain information. Court cases do not work this way. If you want the judge to decide that a certain thing happened, then you have to prove it through the evidence you present as part of your case in court. If the information is important to the outcome of your case, then you have to present the evidence to prove it.
How you will do this will depend on the situation and what you are trying to prove.
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These issues are complicated to explain in full. Every case is different and will require a different approach. Lawyers can help people sort out how to do this. Witnesses may include anyone:. There are a lot of rules. They are complicated, and can be confusing. For example, witnesses can only give evidence on what they personally saw or heard, or what they have on file from the records they keep.
In most cases , the witnesses, including the parties, cannot give evidence about what someone else told them, unless the person who told them the information was one of the parties. The person wanting the information to be heard then gets to say why the information should not be covered by the hearsay rule. The judge then decides if the information goes in as evidence or if it stays out.
kamishiro-hajime.info/voice/espionner-whatsapp/espionner-un-portable-a-letranger.php There are other parts to the hearsay rule, but this gives you a general idea of what a rule of evidence is and how it works. The rules of evidence may be slightly different depending on whether your case involves a federal law like the Divorce Act or a provincial law like the Maintenance and Custody Act.
You will not know about many of these unless you get advice or do research. Lawyers take special training in evidence to learn all of these rules. Judges know the rules too and will apply them to your case, even if you do not know them. The Canada Evidence Act. The Nova Scotia Evidence Act. In the Supreme Court, the rules of court state that you are never allowed to write directly to a judge unless the judge has specifically given you permission to do this in your case.
There are very few situations where judges give that kind of permission. If in doubt, do not write to the judge, but to the court. The court should be notified as soon as possible if a case settles. In some cases, the judge may wish to have a telephone conference in advance of the scheduled court date, to determine whether it is necessary for any of the parties to appear.