Giving evidence

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Giving evidence

'Evidence' is the information produced at a hearing, and can be given by witnesses, on paper, or in another way such as by video.

You will be shown into the hearing room and asked to stand while you swear on a holy book or confirm that you promise to tell the truth during your evidence. You will be given an oath or affirmation card to read from when you enter the room. You can sit down once you have done this. There will be a copy of your witness statement available for you to refer to if you need to. The presenting officer will ask you to confirm your name and will ask questions based on information in your statement. You may sometimes only be asked to confirm the information in your witness statement.

If you are vulnerable, for example you are under 17 years old or you have a physical or mental-health condition, we can ask the panel to make special arrangements for you when you give evidence. This could include you being able to give evidence in private or from behind screens.

If the registrant comes to the hearing, they can ask you questions (cross-examine you) about evidence you have just given. If the allegations are of a sexual nature and you are the alleged victim of the allegations, the registrant is not able to cross-examine you without your permission. The registrant may have a representative who will ask you questions on their behalf. Panel members may also ask questions about your evidence.


Tips for giving evidence

Giving evidence is not a memory test; if you have made a witness statement and it has been submitted to the Panel, you will have a copy of this statement available in the hearing room.

  • Take your time to think about the questions being asked.
  • If you do not understand a question or do not know the answer, you should tell the Panel.
  • Direct your answers to the Panel, not the person asking you questions.
  • Try to speak slowly and clearly when giving evidence so that everyone can hear you and the Panel has an opportunity to note down what you say.


After giving evidence

After giving evidence you are free to leave, or you can usually stay for the rest of the hearing. You should not talk to other witnesses who have not yet given evidence, as this could affect the case.