The right to fair hearing as enshrined in the Universal Declaration for Human Rights is one of man’s fundamental need. However, this right may be repressed due to power embedded in the language. The strategic role of language in promoting or repressing the rights of the individual to fair hearing as actualized in Ghanaian law courts was the thrust of this study. The study investigated how the linguistic structures inherent in counsels’ elicitation strategies and defendants/witnesses’ response strategies aid in promoting unequal power relations in trial cross-examination.
The study, which was rooted in qualitative research design, was based on 50 official court transcripts obtained from three courts in Ghana: Circuit Court One and High Court One, both in Cape Coast, as well as Commercial Court ‘A’ in Accra. The study was anchored on the theory of Ideology and Grice’s Cooperative Principle. The method of analysis was based on Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Fairclough’s Three-Dimension Model was adopted. The findings revealed that counsels promote power imbalance in the courtroom, especially, during cross-examination, through the use of embedded complex sentences and coercive question types. Correspondingly, the study also revealed that defendants and witnesses contribute to power imbalance by submitting to and resisting counsels’ talk. It was recommended that elicitation strategies used by counsels in cross-examination should be regulated. The study also recommended that more studies into the responses of defendants and witnesses be conducted.
SSA, R (2021). ELICITATION AND RESPONSE STRATEGIES IN COURTROOM CROSS-EXAMINATION: A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS. Afribary.com: Retrieved April 10, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/elicitation-and-response-strategies-in-courtroom-cross-examination-a-critical-discourse-analysis
Research, SSA. "ELICITATION AND RESPONSE STRATEGIES IN COURTROOM CROSS-EXAMINATION: A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 02 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/elicitation-and-response-strategies-in-courtroom-cross-examination-a-critical-discourse-analysis . Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.
Research, SSA. "ELICITATION AND RESPONSE STRATEGIES IN COURTROOM CROSS-EXAMINATION: A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 02 Apr. 2021. Web. 10 Apr. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/elicitation-and-response-strategies-in-courtroom-cross-examination-a-critical-discourse-analysis >.
Research, SSA. "ELICITATION AND RESPONSE STRATEGIES IN COURTROOM CROSS-EXAMINATION: A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed April 10, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/elicitation-and-response-strategies-in-courtroom-cross-examination-a-critical-discourse-analysis