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Ius et Praxis

On-line version ISSN 0718-0012

Abstract

MARIN VERDUGO, Felipe. Party as witness. Ius et Praxis [online]. 2010, vol.16, n.1, pp.125-170. ISSN 0718-0012.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-00122010000100006.

During the last two decades, the Chilean judicial procedures have undergone an important reform process. It went from a written procedure to a hearing-based procedure. This change involved a new design for the trial hearing and, in particular, for the rules of evidence. The meaning of these changes is not yet well understood, making it easier for the survival of former practices of the written system within the new hearing-based system. This paper identifies on of them, which is the exclusion of parties as witnesses. The paper explains the reasons of the origin of this rule of exclusion in the former written procedure and how it was subsequently overcome in several comparative systems. The paper will hold that in the context of the new hearing-based system, where the judge must concretely assess the evidence, this kind of exclusion lacks of sense, therefore the parties must be admitted into evidence. Moreover, the paper will show that the new rules of evidence allow parties to give their testimony by analyzing those rules in detail. The paper will also refute the supporting arguments used to defend the maintenance of this exclusion in the new hearing-based system and, at last, it will suggest a way to perform the party's testimony accordingly to the new rules of evidence.

Keywords : Procedural Reform; Party as Witness; Rules of Evidence.

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