- How long does an interview take?
An interview can take approximately 1-2 hours.
- Why have I been chosen as a witness?
One or both of the Parties who are involved in the case for nullity realise that you are aware of certain facts about their life and marriage, They have chosen you as a witness because they believe you are able to give an informed and unbiased account of their circumstances.
- What questions will I be asked to answer?
Nullity cases try to establish the background, the maturity and the personality of each Party as well as how they came to meet their marriage partner and how the relationship developed towards marriage.
Depending on the length of time you have known the Party you will be asked questions relating to your knowledge of them. Some questions may appear to be quite intimate, but please remember that the Party who asked you to be a witness is well aware of this fact. They believe that you will be able to answer these questions truthfully and impartially.
- Who will take the evidence?
You will be contacted by one of our Auditors by letter. Sometimes it will be a clergyman or a lay person. They will arrange to see you in Church court or in the parish.
- Must I be seen alone or can someone else join me?
Due to the nature of the interview we regret that you are not able to have anyone else present at the time. This is to safeguard the confidentiality of both the Party you represent as well as your own freedom to express views and opinions that might not be forthcoming if someone else were present.
- Will I be required to take an oath?
Yes, all witnesses are asked to swear an oath that the evidence given is true and that they will respect the confidentiality of the question asked until the case is completed. Those witnesses who are of a Christian persuasion will be asked to swear on the Gospels, those of a Jewish persuasion on the Hebrew Scriptures, and who are of another or no faith will be asked to make an ‘Affirmation’ that what they have given is true.
- Will my name be mentioned or the Parties see my evidence?
Each Party has the right to know who has been called as a witness, so your name will be given to the other Party. Both Parties have the right to read all the witness evidence should they so wish, when the case has been completed.
- Once I have given my testimony will I be approached again by you?
This is a very rare occurrence but sometimes further questions may be raised because of other evidence received. In this case you will be contacted again by the Tribunal.
- Am I allowed to consult the Party about anything before I am interviewed?
No, this is not acceptable or advisable. As you might guess, any contact with the Party about the questions you will be asked could constitute ‘witness priming’ and influence your answers. You should tell the Auditor if such contact has taken place because it might well affect the strength of your testimony.