Cross Examination Law and Legal Definition

Cross examination is the questioning of a witness at a trial or hearing by the opposing party who called the witness to testify. • The purpose of cross-examination is to ascertain the credibility of a witness before the fact-finder and to bring out contradictions and improbabilities in his/her earlier testimony, by putting leading questions thus by trapping the witness into admissions that weaken the testimony. Leading questions are limited to matters covered on direct examination and to credibility issues.

In order to ascertain the credibility of the facts that a witness testifies, everything is scrutinized in the cross-examination. Although cross-examination is not always necessary, every party has a right to cross-examine a witness produced by the opposing party.