The Ethics of Interviewing in Civil Proceedings

October 17, 2016 2:00pm

Robert Hunter
Partner
Edmonds Marshall McMahon

Many jurisdictions have notorious legal disasters where questioning of witnesses did not arrive at the truth, but resulted in a significant miscarriage of justice. The issue is never far out of the public eye. Differing rules between jurisdictions as to what is acceptable practice for interviewing techniques (and in particular those designed to elicit confessions) highlight very real questions for practitioners as to the proper way in which to approach witness interviews. The session will address some of the difficulties that can arise and the different ways in which they can be addressed.
  1. Appropriate and inappropriate pressure;
  2. Questioning and syntax;
  3. Partial truths, selective truths and obvious falsehoods;
  4. Implications for the witness outside the interview; and
  5. Retraction and amendment
  No single jurisdiction has the complete answer. The session will be designed to stimulate discussion amongst the practitioners present as to good practice for the remainder of the conference.