Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Management Studies
Language, literacy and the Peter Blake principle
International journal of speech language and the law
Date of Publication
Examines the implications of the distinctions between speech and writing for the operation of a particular legal device in the Jamaican common law known as the Peter Blake principle. The principle allows a cross-examiner to test the evidence and credibility of a witness by putting a document to a witness. The witness is required to look at it and thereafter the cross-examiner will ask him questions on the document. Issues concerning the efficacy of the principle arise where a textual document is put to a witness who is unable to read and the document is read aloud to him/her. Explores the nature of the possible consequences that emanate from a written to oral text conversion and their ramifications for the operation of the Peter Blake principle when it is applied in the context of a non-literate witness. It does so with particular focus on police station diaries and indicates the danger of the likelihood of a compromise of the value of this critical legal device in situations where there is a mere reading aloud to a non-literate witness, without any further adjustment, of police station diary texts.....