The Principle of Orality
: An Analysis of the Principles Governing the Prevalence of Direct Oral Testimony in the English Adversarial Trial System and the Impact of Reforms to Reduce its Status

  • Susan Lazer

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The system of adversarial trials and the principle of orality in the giving of testimony by witnesses does little to encourage the giving of evidence by the most robust witness yet in its unaltered form provides the basis upon which many of the decisions in the English courts have traditionally been made. There has been a growing recognition that the
orthodox trial system must be reviewed and a system allowing for the giving of evidence by other means constructed within it. The continuing review of how evidence should be
received to determine a fair outcome does not link the underlying purpose of the principle of orality with the numerous circumstances in which oral evidence may be modified for a
variety of reasons. The impact across both civil and criminal proceedings is considered, and the effect of incremental change demonstrated. A model for future dispute resolution and fact finding is developed.
Date of Award2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorGauthier De Beco (Co-Supervisor)

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