Re-Direct Examinations

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General Principles

See also: Examinations

Re-examine on "new facts"
Generally, once cross-examination is complete a witness cannot introduce new facts not covered in cross-examination except where permitted as "re-examination".[1]

A party calling a witness is entitled to re-examine the witness after cross-examination.[2] The scope of the re-examination is limited to matters that arose in cross-examination.[3] Its purpose is to allow the witness to explain or qualify answers that were given in cross-examination.[4]

The "purpose of re-examination is to enable the witness to explain and clarify relevant testimony which may have been weakened or obscured in cross-examination."[5]

Counsel is entitled to ask questions that "relate to matters arising out of the cross-examination which deal with new matters, or with matters raised in examination-in-chief which require explanation as to questions put and answers given in cross-examination."[6]

The right to re-examine is not absolute but should be permitted where it is not repetitious and "genuinely arises from cross-examination".[7]

Introducing "new facts" not arising from Cross
New facts may be raised in re-examination at the discretion of the judge. If the judge permits it, the opposing party must be permitted to cross-examine.[8]

Form of Questions
The rule against leading questions still applies in re-examination.[9]

Improper Re-Direct
Re-examination may not be used to improperly bolster credibility of the witness after impeaching credibility in cross-examination.[10]

Use of Prior Statements in Re-Direct
The re-examination cannot be used to introduce a second inconsistent statement after a first inconsistent statement was introduced in cross.[11]

A Crown may play an entire statement back to the witness in re-examination and put in as an exhibit.[12]

Where recent fabrication arises in cross, the re-direct may be used to introduce a prior consistent statement of the witness.[13]

Re-Direct vs Reply or Rebuttal

Reply or Rebuttal evidence is only permitted where the evidence was not reasonably anticipated.[14] Re-direct has not requirement that the area of evidence to have been unanticipated.

  1. R v Lavoie, 2000 ABCA 318 (CanLII) at para 46 citing The Law of Evidence in Canada ("The witness is not ordinarily allowed to supplement the examination-in-chief by introducing new facts which were not covered in cross-examination.")
  2. R v Moore (1984), 15 CCC (3d) 543 (Ont. C.A.)(*no CanLII links)
  3. R v Moore, at 66 cited in R v Evans [1993] 2 SCR 639 at 36
  4. R v Evans ("The questions that can be asked of right on re-examination should focus on elements from the against-examination relating to new facts or issues raised during the examination and require explanations for asked questions and answers in cons-examination") citing Ewaschuk in Criminal Pleadings & Practice in Canada , 2 e ed (p 16.29 by 16.. 2510)
    R v Candir, 2009 ONCA 915 (CanLII)
    R v Linklater, 2009 ONCA 172 (CanLII), at para 13
    Barboza-Pena c. R., 2008 QCCA 1133 (CanLII), at para 36
  5. R v Lavoie, at para 46 citing The Law of Evidence in Canada, at p. 879
  6. E.G. Ewaschuk in Criminal Pleadings and Practice Canada, 2d ed., in these words at p. 16.29, para 16:2510
  7. R v Schell, 2013 ABCA 4 (CanLII) ("re-examination is permitted if it is not merely repetitious and if it genuinely arises from the cross-examination")
  8. Moore, supra at 66
  9. Moore, supra at 66
    See Phipson on Evidence (13th Ed.). at p. 823-24; Wigmore on Evidence (3rd Ed.), vol. 6, p. 567
  10. Moore, supra
  11. R v Horsefall, 1991 CanLII 5768 (BC CA)
  12. R v Patterson, CanLII 30300 (ON CA), at para 49
  13. R v Lavoie, 2000 ABCA 318 (CanLII)
    see also Prior Consistent Statements
  14. see R v K.T. 2013 ONCA 257 (CanLII)
    see also Reply or Rebuttal evidence

See Also