Including Criminal Code, Highway Traffic, Income Tax, and Regulatory Offences

Witnesses in Ottawa Criminal Courts

Each individual is unique. As a result, the usual indicators of a witness' credibility cannot always be relied upon by lawyers and judges.

Possible behaviours of individual witnesses can include the following:
  • may use advanced vocabulary and language, but this does not necessarily mean that they have advanced comprehension 
  • may have problems communicating but this does not necessarily indicate an intellectual disability 
  • may be highly intelligent but have difficulties with some situations in day-to-day functioning 
  • may be highly intelligent but have high levels of stress 
  • may not read facial expressions or body language well 
  • may use facial expressions or words that are not appropriate to what they are trying to communicate 
  • may find that making or holding eye contact is difficult 
  • conversely, may use intense eye contact, having learned eye contact is expected 
  • could need a longer time to process questions and need longer before providing an answer 
  • may find that a courtroom environment can be particularly challenging as they may be over-stimulated by lights, sounds, and smells 
  • may understand questions better when asked in a black and white fashion, without using figures of speech or requiring them to read between the lines 
  • may have excellent memories, but of details that others would not consider important. 
These factors can lead to an impression, perhaps not justified, that the witness is being unreliable, obtuse, evasive, aggressive, manipulative, calculating, or facetious.

My article for witnesses called 'So You Have to Testify' contains important information that affects you that you will not find anywhere else. It is available, for free, to clients who a book a consultation. To book a consultation with Lisa Christian, call 613.203.4874.


PEACE