Link – New court pilot program helps child sex abuse victims to give evidence

This seems like an interesting thing that Australian courts are doing:

“The program involves pre-recording children’s evidence and appointing trained “witness intermediaries” who help children to understand questions and get their answers across effectively.

Since March last year more than 700 children have been through the NSW pilot program, which has 44 trained witness intermediaries.

Around half the intermediaries are speech pathologists, the rest are occupational therapists, teachers and social workers.

“A witness intermediary is not an advocate for the child,” Mark Speakman said.”

As the article goes on, it does point out that the key was the fact that even defense lawyers are on board with the program. I’m not sure if that would be the case in other countries and legal systems, but it’s worth pointing out that even defense lawyers have an interest in getting clear answers to their questions, without appearing to pick on a child in front of the jury. So there is some usefulness for them as well.

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