Competence & Compellability

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This article is a topic within the subject Court Process, Evidence and Proof.

Introduction

Competence refers to the ability of a witness to give evidence. Compellability refers to the ability of the court to compel a competent witness to give evidence (ie, by threatening it with being held in contempt of court).

  • Competence and compellability are both presumed - ie, unless challenged everyone is assumed to be competent to give evidence (s 12 (a)) and compellable by the court (s 12 (b)).
  • s 13 deals with the exception to competence and compellability:
    • Subsection 1 describes the exception - a person is not competent if he is unable to understand a question (a) or give an answer (b) and that capacity could not be overcome in some way (eg, such as a translator).


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End

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References

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