3.14.2 – Charge: Adaptations at ground rules hearings
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I now want to make a few comments about how NOC gave evidence.
[If other witnesses were questioned in a conventional way, add the following shaded section]
You may also have noticed that NOC was questioned in a different way from other witnesses. Generally, the questions were simpler, and more direct.
As a [child / person with a cognitive impairment], NOC’s language skills are not as developed as many other witnesses. [Name of prosecution counsel] and [name of defence counsel] therefore had to adapt their questions to match NOC’s language ability. Otherwise, there was a risk that NOC would have become tired, stressed or confused, and might have given answers that [he/she] didn’t mean to give. This would not have been fair to NOC and would have made your task of assessing the evidence more difficult than it should be.
Despite the different style and tone of [Name of defence counsel’s questions], the defence say that you should not accept NOC’s evidence. The defence say [refer to relevant aspects of defence case in relation to NOC]. The prosecution argues that [refer to relevant aspects of prosecution case in relation to NOC].
Ultimately, it is for you to decide what parts of NOC’s evidence you accept, if any, and whether the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
Last updated: 17 October 2018