What You Need To Know — Witness
You were asked to give testimony before an Advisory Panel of Classis Chatham. Whether you are appearing on behalf of the accuser or the accused, here are some guidelines to be aware of.
- This is an ecclesiastical proceeding, not a court trial. The goal is to pastorally obtain the facts behind an allegation, not establish a verdict or legal judgment.
- The information you provide will be kept confidential by the Panel unless the other party to the allegation has a need to know the source of the information. The adjudicatory body may need to know it too. You should keep your appearance before the panel and the information you share confidential from others who do not have a need to know to best serve the interests of those involved.
- Provide your information in as much detail as you can remember. Include in your testimony such things as relevant dates, times, people present, and other details that can verify the events that took place.
- In the panel process, you will be given an opportunity to present your testimony without interruption. After that, members of the Panel may question you for more information or more details.
- Typically, you will not sit with the person on whose behalf you are offering testimony during either his/her testimony or your own.
- You should be aware that this ecclesiastical hearing does not prevent anyone from initiating a civil or criminal proceeding.
- This hearing will be audio taped for the purposes of accuracy and record keeping. Members of the Panel may also be taking notes. These materials are the property of the panel and cannot be divulged without a subpoena.
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