hostile witness

(redirected from unfavourable witness)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.
Related to unfavourable witness: hostile witness, Examination in chief

hostile witness

A witness in a trial who testifies for the opposing party and is subject to cross-examination by the same party that called him or her as a direct witness due to antagonism demonstrated during direct examination. Witnesses called by the opposing party are presumed hostile. A witness can be declared hostile by a judge at the request of the examiner, when the witness' testimony is openly antagonistic or when clearly prejudiced to the opposing party.