Refreshing Witness Memory


RefreshingWitness Memory

RefreshingWitness Memory

Thelaw allows the witness to be refreshed in memory using a number ofways in court or out of court. Criminal Justice Act 2003 in thesection 139 allows the witness’ memory to be refreshed by lookingat a document that was verified or made by him or her (Garland,2011). This form of refreshing is only allowed if the witnessindicates that the document contains his or her oral recollections.The recollections by the witness in the document reflect a time thatis prior to the current oral witness he or she is giving.

Beforeentering the court, the witness is also allowed to refresh his or hermemory by reading his or her previous statements. According toGarland (2011), it is irrational to prevent the witness from readinghis own recollections of the statement. However, a witness is onlyallowed if he or she gives the same recollection as the one given inthe statement. The statement allowed reading is the one preparedeither contemporaneously ornon-contemporaneously.

Inaddition, the witness can be jogged by the statements in the documentin order to refresh his or her memory. This allows the witness toremember the content of the document he or she had written orverified, without having to read it (Hails,2011). However, if the events beingreviewed happened a long time ago, the witness may be refreshed byshowing him or her the documents involved. For instance, the witnesscould be shown his initials or signature to confirm that he or shewas the one who prepared the document. This way, the memory of thewitness is refreshed, and he confirms the recollection.


Garland,N. M. (2011). Criminalevidence (6thed.).New York, NY: McGraw Hil

Hails,J. (2011).Criminal evidence.Stamford: Cengage Learning