RULES OF ADMISSIBILITY OF WITNESSES AND EVIDENCE
1. Admissibility of witnesses – Every presiding officer shall rule as to who shall be admitted as
witnesses in a case. Either party has the right to challenge any witness that may be called to the stand, giving reasons for the challenge, and the presiding officer shall decide whether the witness shall be allowed to testify.
2. Sequestering of witnesses – Witnesses who have not yet given testimony shall not be present during the examination of another witness or the presentation of written testimony.
3. Admonition to be truthful – Before giving his/her testimony, every witness is to be solemnly admonished by the presiding officer, that his/her testimony is given as before the Lord and that he/she is to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4. Credibility of witnesses – The credibility of witnesses, or the degree of credit to be given to their testimony, may be affected by their relationship to either of the parties, by interest in the result, by want of proper age, by weakness of understanding, by defect in any of the senses, by enmity toward the accused, by personal character, and by various other circumstances to which the trial committee should carefully attend and for which it should make due allowance in its decision.
5. Questioning of witnesses – Witnesses are to be examined in the presence of the accused or his/her assistant, who are at liberty to cross-examine them. The same privilege belongs to the prosecutor and to every member of the trial committee. All questions are to be asked with the permission of the presiding officer, and no frivolous or non-pertinent questions are to be allowed.
6. Testimony by the accused – The accused may be allowed, but shall not be compelled, to testify and no inference of guilt may be drawn from his failure to testify, on the demand of the
7. Testimony by family members – Husbands and wives, parents and children, shall not be
required to testify against each other.
8. Testimony from a different case – The testimony of a witness in a different case in which the accused was not a party and had no opportunity to cross-examine shall not be admitted as evidence of the truth of the matters to which the witness testified.
9. Corroboration of testimony – When a charge depends entirely upon the testimony of witnesses, at least two credible witnesses shall be necessary to establish the charge. But the testimony of one witness corroborated by good circumstantial evidence may be considered sufficient to establish the charge when there is no conflicting evidence.
10. Common report – In cases of common report, the testimony of several different witnesses to different acts of the same kind may be considered sufficient to establish the charge.
11. Hearsay evidence – Hearsay evidence (i.e. evidence based on innuendo or rumor or information received from others rather than by personal knowledge) is not to be received.
12. Circumstantial evidence – Circumstantial evidence may be received either to corroborate
positive testimony or as conclusive when it is of such character as to produce full conviction in
the minds of the trial committee.
13. Written evidence – Private writings and correspondence, printed publications, formal sworn affidavits, and signed confessions or disclosures attested by the signature of a person who witnessed the signing, the genuineness and authorship of which are clearly established, may be received as evidence.
14. Records of a previous trial – The records of a previous trial, or any part of them, whether
original or transcribed, shall be received as legal evidence in any other trial.
15. Private knowledge possessed by members of the trial committee – No private knowledge possessed by members of the trial committee shall be allowed to influence their decision. A member of the trial committee who is called on to testify in the case may not vote on any matter in the trial except with the approval of both parties.