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What's the meaning of 'Objection non-responsive' in Amber Heard's testimony?

Shania Wilson May 6, 2022
Photo by ELIZABETH FRANTZ/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Now in its fourth week, the defamation trial between actor Johnny Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard is continuing to shock, seeing the Aquaman star take to the witness stand.

Johnny Depp is suing Amber Heard for defamation due to an op-ed she published in the Washington Post in 2018. Heard is countersuing Depp.

During the ongoing trial, legal system terminology such as “hearsay” and “objection” has cropped up. More recently, Depp’s lawyers called “objection non-responsive” during Heard’s testimony, but what does the term mean?

If you’re unfamiliar with legal jargon, allow us to explain the meaning of “objection non-responsive”, and what it means in the context of the libel trial.

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Amber Heard takes to the witness stand

The Depp-Heard defamation trial has made its way into the fourth week and, having already heard from Depp, Amber has now taken to the witness stand.

During her testimony, the 36-year-old actress alleged that she had been a victim of domestic abuse when married to Johnny Depp and that her ex-husband had an alcohol and drug problem. Heard also claimed the actor “lost control” due to his addiction.

As reported by The Independent, Depp has denied having an alcohol problem but has admitted to having a problem with prescription pills.

Depp has already provided evidence and claimed he was the victim of domestic abuse.

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‘Objection non-responsive’ meaning explained

If you’re following the Depp-Heard trial and some of the legal jargon has thrown you, you’re not alone. Over on Twitter, users wondered exactly what Depp’s lawyer Camille Velasquez meant when calling “objection non-responsive”.

According to The Legal Seagull, The non-responsive objection is “a common objection used in court when a witness is not responding properly to questions asked under oath.”

The same source suggests that lawyers may call “objection non-responsive” when a witness “rambles” or goes beyond the scope of what they were asked.

During the ongoing defamation trial, terms such as “hearsay” and “lack of foundation” have also cropped up, but what exactly do they mean?

As per CPS, in the legal system, hearsay means: “a representation of fact or opinion made by a person.”

Likewise, The Legal Seagull defines lack of foundation as “when a party asks a question but has not shown the court why the witness is qualified to answer the question.”

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Shania is a Magazine Journalism graduate from the University of Derby. Her main passion is rooted in print journalism, however, she also branches out towards social media and is also interested in public relations. Outside of writing, Shania enjoys using social media, reading, and drinking coffee.