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Qualifications of Witness

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Qualifications of Witness







Witness
Reference to a person who testifies in a case or gives evidence before
a judicial tribunal.

Competency of a Witness
Is the legal fitness or ability of a witness to be heard on the trial
of a cause.

General Rule
When a witness takes the stand to testify, the law, on grounds of
public policy, presumes that he is competent. The court cannot reject
the witness if there is not proof of his incompetency.

General Rule
All persons who can perceive, and, perceiving, can make their known
perception to others, may be witnesses. Religious/political belief,
interest in the outcome of the case, or conviction of a crime unless
otherwise provided by law, shall not be ground for disqualification.

Exception: Disqualifications:
1. By reason of mental incapacity or immaturity
2. By reason of marriage
3. By reason of death/insanity of adverse party

The burden is upon the party objecting to the competency of a witness
to establish the grounds of incompetency.

It is the judge who has the decision as to the competency of the
witness.

The objection to the competency of a witness must be made before he h
as given any testimony if a party knows before the trial that the
witness is incompetent, and if the incompetency appears on the trial,
the objection must be interpreted as soon as it becomes apparent.

When the incompetency of a witness is only partial, the objection
need not be raised until he is asked to testify to those matters as
to which he is incapacitated.

The testimony of the interested witness, while rightfully subjected
to careful scrutiny, should not be rejected on the ground of bias
alone.

The interest of the witness affects only his credibility but not his
competency.

When an attorney is a witness to his client, except as to merely
formal matters, such as the attestation or custody of an instrument
and the like, he should leave the trial of the case to other counsel.
Except when essential to the ends of justice, a lawyer should avoid
testifying in court in behalf of his client.

It is objectionable for a judge to be a witness on the same trial.
However, the trial judge is competent when his testimony concerns
merely formal or preliminary matters about which there is no dispute,
as where he testifies in a perjury prosecution that the defendant gave
testimony before him in another proceeding in another court.

Persons who have been convicted of perjury is cannot be discharged as
a witness for the government when he is a co-accused in a criminal
case. The same goes for witnesses to a will.

Upon the timely objection to the incompetency of a witness being
raised, it is the duty of the court to make such examination as will
satisfy him as to the competency or incompetency of the witness to
testify in the case, and thereupon, to rule on the objection
accordingly.

The failure to object to the competency of a witness is tantamount to
a waiver and once the evidence is admitted the same shall stay in the
records and be judge according to its merits; the judge has no right
to discard it solely for the reason that it could have been excluded
had it been objected to.

Acts of a party entitled to object that can be considered as waiver 
of an objection:
1. Where the party fails to raise the objection when the witness
   testifies, though at that time the party knows of his incompetency
2. Where one party who might have made the objection calls the witness
   in support of his own case.

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Bigwas

I'm Bigwas, It is just an Alias. I have a degree in Criminology. I'm a blogger who loves to write about anything that cross my mind. I hope you learn something from my blog.

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