Police officers and lawyers both have a duty of candor to a court, whether they are testifying under oath or not. This applies in Canada and the USA.

Duty of Candor

Duty of candor refers to duty of a public authority to disclose material facts. The general duty of candor requires attorneys to be honest and forthright with courts. The attorneys should also refrain from deceiving or misleading courts either through direct representations or through silence.

  1. the quality of being open and honest in expression; frankness.
    “a man of refreshing candor
    synonyms: franknessopennesshonesty, candidness, truthfulnesssincerity, forthrightness, directness, plain-spokenness, bluntness, straightforwardness, outspokenness;

    informal telling it like it is
    “I’m not sure he appreciated my candor”

Have you heard what every witness in the US says when they give an oath on TV?

Oath in California:

You do solemnly state that the testimony you may give in the case now pending before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God.

Oath in the United States


Do you solemnly (swear/affirm) that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, (so help you God/under pains and penalties of perjury)?

Swear may be replaced with “affirm”, and either “so help you God” or “under pains and penalties of perjury” may be used; all oaths and affirmations are considered to be equivalent before the law.[13] These modifications to the oath were originally introduced in order to accommodate those who feel uncomfortable swearing religious oaths, such as Quakers and Catholics, as well as to accommodate the irreligious. Some Bibles instruct people to never swear an oath. Other versions say to not swear by anything, not even your Mother’s grave.

Matthew 5:34

But I tell you not to swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne;

34“But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. 36“Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37“But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.

James 5:12

New International Version
Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear–not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.

 In United States v. Ward, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that certain other modifications of the oath were acceptable so long as they demonstrated “a moral or ethical sense of right and wrong”.[15]

Oath in Canada:


I solemnly affirm that the evidence to be given by me shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Canada Evidence Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-5), s. 14