Browne v Dunn (1893) 6 R 67 (HL) | 28 November 1893

ON 28 NOVEMBER 1893, the House of Lords delivered Browne v Dunn (1893) 6 R 67 (HL).

A party who cross-examines a witness must, out of fairness, “put it” to the witness any contradiction they suggest arises from their evidence in order to give them an opportunity to explain the contradiction.

Per Lord Herschell at 70-71:

“…it seems to me to be absolutely essential to the proper conduct of a cause, where it is intended to suggest that a witness is not speaking the truth on a particular point, to direct his attention to the fact by some questions put in cross-examination showing that imputation is intended to be made, and not to take his evidence and pass it by as a matter altogether unchallenged and, then, when it is impossible for him to explain…to argue that he is a witness unworthy of credit.”


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