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London Commercial Disputes Partner Mathew Rea authored an article featured in The Law Society Gazette on Nov. 19 examining the current approach to witness evidence. Rea observes that, “For centuries one of the cornerstones of our justice system has been the right to confront the other side’s witnesses at trial and challenge their evidence through cross-examination…Oral evidence is, however, time-consuming and expensive. Many are now beginning to question whether, in commercial disputes, its benefits are really proportionate to the time and cost incurred.” Looking at the judges’ stance on oral evidence, Rea questions whether the UK’s tradition of oral witness evidence is under threat, but states: “It seems unlikely we would be prepared to abandon oral witness evidence at trial altogether. That could be a cultural step too far.