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Hostile Witnesses

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Hostile Witnesses

 

In our system of evidence, each side can call its own list of witnesses to give evidence in support.  This occurs in a civil court as well as in a criminal court.  But the witness you call is your "own witness" and you can only ask direct questions of them without actually getting into cross-examination. 

 

You cannot call a witness and then, when you don't get the answers you want, proceed to cross-examine your witness.  You are stuck with his or her answers. 

 

However, if you have evidence of a prior inconsistent statement made by your witness, then you can apply to the Judge to have your witness declared hostile.  The Judge will consider the evidence of the prior inconsistent statement and may declare the witness hostile which then will allow you to be able to cross-examine that witness. 

 

Cross-examination gives you much more power to question the witness.  You can “put to” a hostile witness, or a witness for the opposing side, that they are lying and that their evidence is wrong.  But you cannot treat your own witness the same way, unless that witness is declared hostile.

 

Another example might occur if you call a witness to give evidence o

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"can i make a complaint if a barrister acting for an applicant for child custody completely and utterly overrides and ignores sworn affidavits by the respondent bulldozes her ignorance through the family court and is so negilent she gets away with it we are at a loss how this can happen how can we have our allegations investigated??"
"Hi Netlaw, I am not sure if this is the right place to ask the following but here goes:

My brother is looking for the best possible family court/criminal lawyer/solicitor that legal aid can buy. He’s looking for a lawyer who will go ‘all out’ for him, advocate strongly on his (and his children’s)behalf and provide desperately needed advice/counsel. This lawyer must also be willing, eager and able to take up a challenge and defend my brother against a breach of a protection order.

A big ask we know (especially since legal aid is mentioned), but we are hoping that some of you gentlemen may know of such lawyers? Or someone who knows someone who might? Is there a contact list, website etc of such lawyers/solicitors that you could direct us to please? We live in Wellington but will canvass New Zealand to find such a person.

We are is running out of time, hence this urgent plea to you all. We would be truly grateful if you can find the time to reply or point us in the right direction.

Many thanks in advance
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"I'm making an enquiry on behalf of a relative who is paying child support for a person who is in his mid 30s now, the inland revenue who he is making these payments to told me it is not child support it is spouse support payments and he needs to go back to court to have the order changed. Who do we call now as he is not on a good income and should qualify for legal aid.

Netlaw replies: Yes, Spousal Maintenance is different from Child Support. The Family Court deals with Spousal maintenance but the IRD (Child Support Division) deals with kid's maintenance. Choose any family court lawyer and if he earns less than about $33,000 he should get legal aid."

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