بررسی میزان و کیفیت مسؤلیت شهود در محاکمات کیفری، با تمرکزی بر قواعد حاکم در جلسات استماع

A Study on the Kinds and Qualities of a Liable Witness in Criminal Trials: Ruling Principles in Hearing Sessions


One of the most important kinds of evidence in a judicial procedure is based on witness statement. In parallel with confession, a witness can clarify some hidden dimensions observed in an event and investigated by the courts, juries, prosecutors or even attorneys. Lawyers and legal academics, therefore, are struggling to solve a deep conflict made as a result of professional actions performed by the court players including attorneys. Hence, they are obviously attempting to attract their stories deducted from the statement announced by the witnesses. Litigants or other parties are trying to question the legality of their stories or challenge their individual jurisdiction. There is a critical spot that all legal players expect to respect and ensure them to be respected. This article is focusing on the necessary qualities to be guaranteed objectively in courts.

Critical Debates

First and foremost, witnesses are not obliged to be in the courts for hearing session. Therefore, they are free to talk about details of the distinct perspectives of an event. It means all psychological pressure, threat or deceit are prohibited legally to be applied by both partial or impartial parties. It is accepted, nonetheless, they are allowed to abdicate from testifying whenever they do not want to do. Undoubtedly, it is a highly accepted rule in common law systems. For example, many cases are found in Australia, Canada, the Great Britain and USA where persons are allowed to regret for a called testimony before or during a hearing session, while the courts have not ordered any obligatory task persuading them to testify. Otherwise, Iran, Iraq and Malaysia, for example, have approved laws obliging persons officially to testify. It is recognized as a formidable duty noting witnesses to be seriously honest. If not, they are likely to be acknowledged as perjuries. Consequently, they will be punished for felony commitment. It is not very important at all, if they attempt to justify that there is no real conflict. They try to interpret it as a logical consequence.

In addition, it cannot be accepted legally that parties can affect them by any fraud, when they are testifying or they decided to do so. In UK, USA, Canada and Australia, confidential protocols have been regulated in high levels in order to protect witnesses’ details including their names, addresses, jobs, contact numbers and their family members. Irrespective of security instructions applied for in and out of courts, some rules must be considered and respected when they are sitting in the witness box. To explain precisely, it is observed in the courts over and over when attorneys are struggling to ask them ambigous questions as a way to achieve the truth. It is not acceptable, because a strong reason is to breach verdicts issued on the base of such an evidence by the supreme courts. Consequently, during hearing sessions, all parties, their attorneys and even prosecutors can object officially about the breach of law and the ignorance of other principles recognized under a fair trial. Therefore, any screwy questions or kinds of behavior cannot be sustained by the courts, if each of players are attempting to overlook such robust points. The juries also are not permitted, meanwhile, to consider such a testimony as a legal evidence in their decision.

Thirdly, Bribe to witness is legally criminalized. This rule is applicable in all kinds of money, gifts, services or even every kind of motivations or pressures persuading witnesses to testify, irrespective of their announcements approving or rejecting the rights of bribery. Extremely, parties cannot be in connect with them without the legal allowance of the judges. This rule defines an absolute prohibition in some legal regimes like the USA, Australia and the UK. Conversely, while some countries like Iran have criminalized perjury, no punishment is regulated for any bribe to testimony generally. In this country, witnesses are allowed interestingly to charge parties their costs sustaining to testify including transportation tickets or any bonus for attendance at the hearing sessions. It seems we are facing a meaningful silence for bribe and witnesses in some corners of the globe.

Last but not least, it is not permitted that witnesses are able to abridge their announcements or statements about the events claimed that they were observing or involved in. It is a felony if a court is informed or it receives any evidence approving the real intention of a witness to hide some parts of truth while the hearing session is running. It can lead to challenge profoundly the legality or legitimacy of witnesses, if it is ignored after any objections requested by parties or their attorneys. All points mentioned above cannot prevent all parties legally and professionally from questioning and challenging witnesses so as to clarify all hidden dimensions of their truth.


To sum up, a simple research points out that testimony is recognized as an impressive defense to clarify what happened between parties. Of course, it is the best way to acknowledge truth and real story discovering criminals and all kinds of crimes committed by persons. It assists the judges and the juries to figure out parties’ intentions, discover criminals’ roles and their impacts on criminal process. It is worth mentioning that it is not easy yet to use testimony in order to recognize how possible it is to categorize real damages sustained by persons and the societies as a whole.

نوشته شده توسط دکتر حسین سرتیپی 1399-12-22