Rule 601. Competency

  • militarydefenselawyers286Rule 601. General rule of competency.
  • Every person is competent to be a witness except as otherwise provided in these rules.
  1. The rule eliminates the categorized disabilities which existed at common law and under prior military law. United States v. Morgan, 31 M.J. 43 (C.M.A. 1990), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 1085 (1991). The very young (4 year old child here) are competent, even if hesitant, apprehensive, and afraid.
  2. In the event that the competency of a witness is challenged, e.g., a child, the proponent of the witness must demonstrate that the witness has: capacity to observe; capacity to remember; capacity to relate; and recognition of the duty to
    tell the truth.