Classification of cross-examination

There are two different types of cross-examination as

  1. Supportive (Concessional Based) and
  2. Discrediting


  1. Supportive :

This type of cross-examination is employed when one wants to ask questions and get answers that support and advance the case. In supportive cross, questions are not used to  attack, pillage and plunder the witness. Instead, cross is used to obtain favorable information,e.g. admissions, fill in- gaps in the story  facts etc. from the witness. If one can  develop favorable  evidence  from the opposition’s witness/he/she can then argue,”Their own witness said (insert the testimony  favorable  to your position).”It adds credibility to the  evidence if it comes  from  an opposing witness. If someone is gong  to rely  on the evidence  from an opposition  witness , it may not make sense to attack the  credibility  of that witness. Occasionally , the testimony  on direct may  be so helpful to the theory  of the case  that he/she simply have the witness  repeat it on  cross and pass the witness. In most instances, the favorable  evidence  that will accrue  from opposition witness will  come in small increments.

2.Discrediting Cross-examination:

A discrediting cross-examination occurs when one attempts to discredit the believability of a witness, factual testimony by showing that it does not jibe with common sense  or with what other say. He/she  may want  to use  cross to show  what the witness does not  know  or what  the witness did not do  in investigation. He/she  may want  to employ cross to impeach the witness. Evidentiary  procedure  and rules   provide  a number of  traditional  modes  of impeachment. For example , a  witness may be impeached by proof of inability to  understand the nature  and obligation  of an oath  to tell the truth.