How to give witness evidence in employment tribunal proceedings
Author: Mark Taylor
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- Recognise that the role of a witness is limited to setting out the factual information, not commenting on the law.
- Be aware of the importance of the witness being prepared for what to expect at the hearing.
- Ensure that the witness is aware of how to address the tribunal.
- Ensure that the witness has a substantial input into the drafting of his or her witness statement, and that it is in his or her own words.
- Recognise the importance of having a rigorously prepared witness statement that the witness has checked thoroughly for accuracy.
- Refer to any relevant documents in the witness statement.
- Remember that the witness should concentrate on answering each question honestly in a clear and concise way, and should not appear evasive or dismissive.
- If the witness cannot remember details, make sure that the witness knows that he or she should not be afraid to state this.
- Take into account the importance of the witness creating a good impression by remaining calm, confident and non-confrontational.
- Do not over-rehearse evidence as this can lead to the witness failing to deal with unexpected questions.