Encyclopedia of Adolescence

2011 Edition
| Editors: Roger J. R. Levesque

Testimonial Competency

  • Roger J. R. LevesqueEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1695-2_692

Testimonial competence involves the competence to testify under oath. Individuals are deemed competent to testify if they understand the oath and the responsibility to tell the truth (see Levesque 2006). Competence also means that they must possess the ability to perceive accurately an event, remember it accurately, and communicate it accurately. Importantly, for competency, there is no concern about the witnesses’ credibility; credibility is an issue for juries/judges (whomever serves as the “trier of facts”) to determine and weigh in their evaluation of trial evidence (see Levesque 2002, 2006). Although these issues would seem quite straightforward, they actually have been the subject of debate and reform that responded to the understanding of children and adolescents as well as other legal developments, as exemplified by recent legislative and judicial developments in US law.

Until approximately 4 decades ago, the United States was markedly diverse in its approaches to the...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA