Child Witness in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • R v Barker (Steven)
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 20 Abr 2010

    Like adults some children will provide truthful and accurate testimony, and some will not. Therefore, although due allowance must be made in the trial process for the fact that they are children with, for example, a shorter attention span than most adults, none of the characteristics of childhood, and none of the special measures which apply to the evidence of children carry with them the implicit stigma that children should be deemed in advance to be somehow less reliable than adults.

    At the same time the right of the defendant to a fair trial must be undiminished. When the issue is whether the child is lying or mistaken in claiming that the defendant behaved indecently towards him or her, it should not be over-problematic for the advocate to formulate short, simple questions which put the essential elements of the defendant's case to the witness, and fully to ventilate before the jury the areas of evidence which bear on the child's credibility.

  • R (DPP) v Redbridge Youth Court
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 22 Mar 2001

    In the case of video interviews, Parliament has provided that the primary method of presenting evidence of a child witness where there is a video interview is by means of such an interview. Fairness to the defendant is achieved by enabling the defendant to see the witness giving evidence in interview, or by a television link, and having a full opportunity to cross examine by way of the television link.

    Again the court is required to strike a balance, on this occasion between the right of the defendant to have a hearing in accordance with the norm and the need to provide protection in accordance with the legislative purpose, in the interests not only of the child witness but also of justice, to ensure that the witness will be able to give evidence and give evidence unaffected by the stress of appearing in court itself.

  • R v Hampshire
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 11 Nov 1994

    In order to determine, under Section 32A(3)(c), whether the interests of justice require him to refuse leave, the judge in most, if not all, cases must watch the video-recording. His determination whether, “in the interests of justice” the recording ought not to be admitted must necessarily include a determination as to competence.

  • Re W (Children)
    • Supreme Court
    • 03 Mar 2010

    When the court is considering whether a particular child should be called as a witness, the court will have to weigh two considerations: the advantages that that will bring to the determination of the truth and the damage it may do to the welfare of this or any other child. A fair trial is a trial which is fair in the light of the issues which have to be decided.

  • Re M (A Child) (Care Proceedings: Witness Summons)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 19 Ene 2007

    In considering whether to make an order, the judge will have to balance the need for the evidence in the circumstances of the case against what he assesses to be the potential for harm to the child. In assessing the need for oral evidence in the context of care proceedings, the judge should, in my view, take account of the importance of the evidence to the process of his decision about the child's future.

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Legislation
  • Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014
    • Scotland
    • 1 de Enero de 2014
    ...... establishment of a committee of the Mental Welfare Commission with functions relating to persons who were placed in institutional care as children. . General principles General principles . S-1 . General principles 1 General principles . (1) Each person mentioned in subsection (2) must ......
  • Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011
    • Scotland
    • 1 de Enero de 2011
    ...... hearing the application the sheriff must not, unless the sheriff makes an order under section 175, admit evidence, or allow questioning of a witness designed to elicit evidence, which shows or tends to show one or more of the circumstances mentioned in subsection (3) in relation to a person ......
  • Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2004
    • Scotland
    • 1 de Enero de 2004
    ...... An Act of the Scottish Parliament to make provision for the use of special measures for the purpose of taking the evidence of children and other vulnerable witnesses in criminal or civil proceedings; to provide for evidential presumptions in criminal proceedings where certain reports ......
  • Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1999
    ......magistrates' court under— . . (a) section 56 of the   Children and Young Persons Act 1933 . (remission. to youth court, or another such ... measures directions in case of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses . Preliminary Preliminary . S-16 . Witnesses eligible for assistance on ......
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Books & Journal Articles
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • Reforms to witness statements (PD 57AC): sense, finally, after a century of psychological research; or, a triumph of form over substance?
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    In 1995, Elizabeth Loftus and Jacqueline Pickerell published a paper showing that it was possible to implant an entire false memory of something that never happened. In one of the first successful ...
    ......In one of the first successful cases of memory implantation, the subject was supplied with three true events that happened in his childhood and one false one: that he had been lost in a mall as a child. The subject came to believe he had in fact been lost in the mall. The Witness Evidence ......
  • Immigration Tribunal Appeals - A Practical Guide (4)
    • Mondaq UK
    ......additional needs for a vulnerable or a child witness. You may. need to consider whether there should be a preliminary ......
  • NDAs And Tribunal Witness Orders – Which Prevails?
    • Mondaq UK
    ...... declined to assist her, praying in her defence both the NDA and also that the hearing would be within a few weeks only after the birth of her child. Christie applied for a witness order in respect of Ms L under Rule 32 of the ET Rules of Procedure 2013. This says that the ET "may order any ......
  • NDAs and Tribunal witness orders – which prevails? (UK)
    • LexBlog United Kingdom
    In all the hoo-hah around the use of NDAs in settlement agreement, no one yet seems to have asked the question of what happens if you sign such an agreement and are then called as witness to the Em...
    ...... declined to assist her, praying in her defence both the NDA and also that the hearing would be within a few weeks only after the birth of her child. Christie applied for a witness order in respect of Ms L under Rule 32 of the ET Rules of Procedure 2013. This says that the ET “may order any ......
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