Witnesses - overview


If you have been called as a witness in a trial your main duty is to tell the truth. If a judge forms the opinion that you have lied under oath, you may be prosecuted for perjury.

In this section, you will find information about what it means to be a witness in a court case.

There is information on the different types of witness, who is competent to be a witness and who can be forced to be a witness.

You will also find information about what's involved in being a witness and the rules for witnesses who are under 18. It also covers the rules about what evidence you can give and when you can give evidence by video-link.

This section has information on affidavits, which are written statements detailing the evidence a witness will give in court. It also describes when witness statements can be used in trials, as well as how the court deals with hostile witnesses who seem unwilling to tell the truth in court.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has a booklet with information on going to court as a witness.

Page edited: 20 March 2019