Difference Between Testimony and Testimonial

Testimony vs Testimonial

When it comes to the legal field, the difference between testimony and testimonial is of great importance. As we all know, there are many terms within the field of Law that appear to have the same meaning, but yet have subtle distinctions. Once can say that the terms ‘Testimony’ and ‘Testimonial’ illustrate this point best. They present a conundrum in that many of us often understand the terms as meaning one and the same thing when, in fact, there is a slight difference between the two. This difference is so subtle that it almost blurs the distinction resulting in a trail of confusion. Most of us are somewhat acquainted with the term ‘Testimony’ which traditionally refers to the sworn declaration of a witness in court, or a declaration made by a person under oath or affirmation before a court of law. The definition of the term ‘Testimonial’ however, particularly in a legal context, is not that familiar to many of us.

What is Testimony?

As mentioned above, Testimony is conventionally defined as a solemn declaration by a witness under oath or affirmation. This declaration is generally made before a court of law. A Testimony can typically be given in written form or orally, although the latter is a more popular method of declaration. This declaration made by the witness involves the statement of facts pertaining to a certain incident, circumstance or occurrence. It is also recognised as a type of evidence, given to prove a certain fact or facts in a case. Keep in mind that when a person makes a declaration in such form under oath or affirmation, he/she is swearing or promising to declare the truth. Thus, a person found to be making a false declaration or stating false or incorrect facts will be charged with perjury.

Difference Between Testimony and Testimonial

What is Testimonial?

In common parlance, the term ‘Testimonial’ is generally used to refer to a written or oral recommendation of a person’s character or qualifications or in respect of the value of a service or product. This definition connotes a subjective aspect in that it expresses a personal opinion or constitutes the expression of personal appreciation or approval. In a legal context, however, it is slightly different. Traditionally, a Testimonial in law refers to a written statement that is given to support a certain fact, truth or claim. It is important to note that a Testimonial can also be given orally and need not be confined to written form. Think of a Testimonial as a written or oral endorsement or in simpler terms, approval, of a certain fact or claim. In some instances, a Testimonial refers to a statement supporting the Testimony of a witness or in other words supporting the facts as stated by a witness.

What is the difference between Testimony and Testimonial?

• A Testimony refers to a declaration made by a person under oath or affirmation before a court of law.

• Testimonial, on the other hand, denotes a statement made in support of a particular fact, truth or claim.

• The term ‘Testimony’ constitutes the statement made by a witness in a legal proceeding.

• In contrast, a Testimonial serves as a supplement of sort or something used to support a Testimony.


Images Courtesy: 

  1. Giving testimony by Jeremy112233 (CC BY 3.0)