Assessment of Witness Credibility

Source: 2019 BCSC 2261 Insurance Corporation of British Columbia v. Mansur

This case looks at the test for assessing witness credibility:

[12] Since Faryna, courts have developed a set of factors that may be used to apply the approach to assessing credibility. This non-exhaustive list of factors was summarized in Bradshaw v. Stenner, 2010 BCSC 1398 at paras. 186–187, aff’d 2012 BCCA 296:

i. the capacity and opportunity of the witness to observe the events at issue;

ii. his or her ability to remember those events;

iii. the ability of the witness to resist being influenced by his or her interest in recalling those events;

iv. the internal and external consistency of the witness’s evidence;

v. did his or her testimony change between direct and cross-examination; are there inconsistencies in between prior statements, discovery evidence and his or her evidence at trial;

vi. whether the witness’s evidence harmonizes with or is contradicted by other evidence, particularly independent or undisputed evidence;

vii. whether his or her evidence seems unreasonable, improbable or unlikely, bearing in mind the probabilities affecting the case; and

viii. the witness’s demeanour, meaning the way he or she presents while testifying.