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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 35 : Evidence

Paragraph 7 :

35-7. All testimony shall be recorded (transcription, audiotape, videotape, or some other electronic means) and witnesses informed of such prior to testifying.
Such recording becomes part of the Record of the Case. However, in order to be referenced in written or oral briefs, such recording must be transcribed and the transcription authenticated by the trial court. The court of final appeal may assess the cost of transcription equitably among the parties.

[Historical Summary : The current PCA text dates to 2002 [M30GA, 30-10, Item 4, p. 67] and reflects the necessity of conforming to modern advances in technology. The changes adopted however have also created a paragraph which retains no of the wording of prior editions, though the sense of creating a reliable record of the testimony offered in the case remains. The substance of this provision is first established in the text of PCUSA 1789.]

Background and Comparison :
1. PCA 1973, 9-7, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 149
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, 9-7, Proposed text, p. 49
3. PCUS 1933, IX, 233
4. PCUS 1925, IX, 233
5. PCUS 1879, IX-7

Every question put to a witness shall, if required, be reduced to writing. When answered, it shall, together with the answer, be recorded, if deemed by the court, or by either party, of sufficient importance, and the testimony of the witness shall be read to him for his approbation and subscription.

1. PCUS 1869 draft, IX-7
2. PCUS 1867 draft, IX-7
3. PCUSA 1859, IX-7
Every question put to a witness shall, if required, be reduced to writing. When answered, it shall, together with the answer, be recorded, if deemed by either party of sufficient importance.

PCUSA 1797, Forms of Process, I-11

The testimony given by witnesses, must be faithfully recorded, and read to them, for their approbation and subscription.

UPCNA 1867, 7-

OPC, 1988, IV.
Any

Other:
ARP, 1958, §V-

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order
(1898, p. 218), on IX-7 :
212.--VII. Every question put to a witness shall, if required, be reduced to writing. When answered, it shall, together with the answer, be recorded, if deemed by the court, or by either party, of sufficient importance, and the testimony of the witness shall be read to him for his approbation and subscription.
No question is "put to a witness" until it has been approved as a proper question to be put. If required by either party or the court, it is then to be reduced to writing before being answered. Then, when the answer is given, the answer with the question must be recorded, if the court or either party desires it. When the testimony of a witness is all finished, he shall hear, revise and subscribe so much as goes on record.



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