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Serving as a Witness

The Student Judicial Charter of 1997 states, "in keeping with the principles set forth in the Honor Code and Fundamental Standard, all parties with knowledge of facts pertaining to a case of alleged student misconduct are expected to cooperate fully with the investigation of the facts of the case and must appear, if requested, at Judicial Panel hearings. In addition, all parties are expected to be respectful of the confidential nature of any knowledge or information they may have about a judicial case or the other parties involved.  No person shall be required to engage in self-incrimination as a part of any judicial proceeding" (II.D).  

The Charter also outlines the following rights for a witness in any case:

  1. To refuse to engage in self-incrimination.
  2. To be offered reasonable protection from retaliation, intimidation and/or harassment.
  3. To be informed, in writing, of these rights.

If you are contacted to serve as a witness for a case, the Judicial Officer will ask that you provide any information that you have that is relevant to the issue under investigation. The Judicial Officer may ask to meet with you in person or to talk by phone/video-conference. The Judicial Officer will also request that you submit a written statement that describes, in your own words, your direct, first-hand knowledge of the issue. Witness statements should not include opinion or conjecture. Witness statements should generally not include descriptions of events for which you were not present unless you have been specifically asked by the Judicial Officer to do so.

Because the responding student has the right "to be given access to all evidence in the case, both incriminating and exculpatory" (II.A.6), your written statement will be provided to the responding student, the reporting party, and, if a Judicial Panel hearing is convened, to the panelists hearing the case.

If a Judicial Panel is convened, you will be asked to be "on call" in the event there are questions for you from the responding student, the reporting party, the Judicial Officer, or the panelists. You will be advised to re-read your written statement prior to the hearing. Although you may be asked questions about information that is not in your written statement, you should not introduce new issues to the Panel. If you believe you have new information that is not included in your written statement, you should contact the Judicial Officer.

If you have questions about your rights as a witness or the judicial process at any point in the process, please contact the Judicial Advisor for the case by calling 650-725-2485 or emailing community_standards@stanford.edu.