Irving Younger’s 9 Pigeonholes of Impeachment

The nine pigeonholes are:

1. Oath
2. Perception of events (ie seeing, hearing, perceiving etc)
3. Recollection of events (ie memory)
4. Communication (ie ability to give evidence to Court; use of words characteristic to witness (‘antidisestablishmentarianism’))

5. Bias/interest/prejudice/corruption
6. Prior convictions (as to credibility: but note Evidence Act s 138)
7. Prior ‘bad acts’
8. Prior inconsistent statements

9. Other witness giving evidence that casts doubt on credibility of this witness (not relevant in Australian law)

No leading questions in cross-examination of favourable witness

See s 42(3) of the Uniform Evidence Acts, which requires a court to disallow leading ‘if the court is satisfied that the facts concerned would be better ascertained if leading questions were not used’.

This provision does not appear to be used often enough in Victoria, although it is more frequently used in New South Wales.