Clarity on Independent Witness

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by jbow, 20 June 2019.

  1. jbow

    jbow Member

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    I am looking for a definition of "Independent Witness" Can the independent witness talk to both parties before giving his testimony? Example.... we have a case and asked a witness for clarity on a few topics, to help our case. He then proceeded to contact the people we are suing to find out why we were asking these questions - we therefore believe they gave the witness their version. Then the witness has changed his story to fit with the other people (which is a strong line for income for the witness). We believe this should be thrown out, but instead are using this as strong evidence. Am I right or wrong? Any help would be wonderful. Thanks
     
  2. Paul Cott

    Paul Cott Well-Known Member
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    An independent witness ( I am assuming you mean expert witness) are meant to be unbiased and truly independent, even if there are obviously, engaged by a particular party. Their role is to inform the court or tribunal of their own opinion, in an area of specialised knowledge. They are generally allowed to form their opinion in any way they see fit. If there is anything untoward about their views and how they were formed, they can be cross examined. I hope that gives you some clarity.
     
  3. jbow

    jbow Member

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    Thanks for your reply, I think this is slightly different which I am trying to find out how to proceed. The defendant is using this witness as a "independant" witness - however, the witness relies strongly on work/income from the defendant, and has spoken to us (prosecutor) and the defendant to obtain both stories. He also states he cannot remember much about the event, and his statement along with original story differ. He has made one statement that is totally untrue that is the sole weight of the case. He was not asked to sign an affidavit. We are wanting to discredit this witness to try and settle out of court. Unfortunately our current lawyer is not overly helpful and we feel not fighting for us - we think she is "over it" and wants to move on. I was railroaded in a conciliation conference (where there was no court person involved and I was not asked to enter the room, was just the lawyers) as the defendant was using strongly the witness and I had nowhere to go. I cannot afford to continue into the court arena as it will set be back stacks of money. Hope this makes sense and you can guide me further thanks
     
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