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Read this conversation below:

Lawyer :(Asking to a boy) So, Did you find anyone bullying her?

A lady: Sorry, We're going to object. That asks him to qualify behaviour.

Does that mean that is "judging their behaviour and reaching conclusions about one's demeanour"?

I'm not quite sure. Is it a legal term?

Note : I've searched and didn't find anything suitable.

2 Answers 2

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It certainly means making a judgement about the behaviour concerned and, by implication, the intentions of the person behaving that way.

The lady is complaining in effect that the boy is not competent to reach any judgement about the morality of the action concerned, or to categorise it as bullying, teasing or whatever.

In short, it sounds like a typical courtroom or interrogation room drama where lawyers make legal points in order to defend the interests of their clients.

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The attorney objects on the grounds that the question requires the boy to decide whether the behavior constituted "bullying", that is, whether "bullying" is an apt label for the behavior. The question did not simply ask the boy to describe the behavior.

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  • The comments above surely give the correct interpretation of what is going on, but the use of the word 'qualify' in this context seems odd to my (BrE) ears. Is it a legal technical term in the US?
    – JeremyC
    Sep 18, 2018 at 16:45

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