The Ancient Art of Advocacy Logo


As far as I can see, the basic rule with re-examination is don't do it unless you absolutely have to. Harris provides a very useful summary on how to re-examine and also how not to re-examine which you can find here. The Advocate, by T Cox (1856) also provides a useful summary of the main points to bear in mind regarding re-examination, which you can read and download from here.

You can find many of these points repeated in Keith Evans, "Common-sense rules of advocacy". In relation to re-examination he identifies the following rules:

  • If you don't do redirect well better you don't do it at all. Redirects must be done confidently and effortlessly.
  • It's the factfinders emotions, not yours, that matters
  • Emotion follows facts and not the other way round
  • Too little emotion is fatal, too much emotion is fatal
  • Acknowledge the feelings that have understandably been stirred up

Bringing it all together - the examination in chief, cross examination and re-examination of Maria Broel Platter in the Nuremberg trials.

We have seen how with any form of witness handling you must have clear objectives, and these objectives will change following the success or failure of cross examination, whether re-examination is necessary, and what your objectives are with re-examination. You may therefore find it useful to analyse 

The examination in chief of Maria Broel Platter

The cross examination of Maria Broel Platter by defence counsel

The re-examination of Maria Broel Platter

and identify:

  • the objectives of the EIC by Mr McHaney
  • whether, in your view, those objectives were acheived.
  • whether you can think of or identify any areas that were done less well or which could have been done better, and if so, how would you improve on what was done? You should justify any changes you make to the questions.
  • the objectives of defence counsel in XX
  • Whether those objectives were achieved by defence counsel or not?
  • Why  did McHaney decided to re-examine Maria Broel Platter? What mischief was he trying to set right? Did he manage to overcome the damage to his case from defence counsels XX?
You are not authorised to post comments.