Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Redirect Examination Definition:

The re-opening of an examination-in-chief after cross-examination, to cover matters that may have arisen during cross-examination.

Related Terms: Cross Examination, Recross Examination

Also known as a re-examination.

In Easter v State:

“The basic function of redirect examination is to enable the witness to explain and clarify any relevant matters in his or her testimony which have been weakened, confused or obscured by cross-examination and to rebut the discrediting effect of any damaging statements or admissions or to correct any wrong impression that may have been created.”

Ponzer and Dodd write:

“Redirect examination can ordinarily only develop testimony that touches upon the same subjects covered in the cross-examination.”

In Canada, jurists have expressed the current law on this topic as follows:

“The witness is not ordinarily allowed to supplement the examination-in-chief by introducing new facts which were not covered in cross-examination. The general rule is that re-examination must be confined to matters which arose out of cross-examination.”1


  • Bryant, Alan and others, The Law of Evidence in Canada, 3rd Ed. (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2009), pages 1164. [Note 1]
  • Easter v State, 815 SW 2d 924 (Arkansas, 1991)
  • Ponzer, Larry, and Dodd, Roger, Cross-Examination Science and Techniques, 2nd Ed. (San Fransisco: LexisNexis, 2004), page 14-3.
  • Prince v Samo, 7 A. & E. 627 (1838, also in E.R. 110 to 113)

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