Witness assistance and familiarisation in England and Wales: the right to challenge

Wheatcroft, Jacqueline M. ORCID: 0000-0001-7212-1598 (2017) Witness assistance and familiarisation in England and Wales: the right to challenge. International Journal of Evidence and Proof, 21 (1-2). pp. 158-168. doi:10.1177/1365712716674801

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Since the 1700s lawyers have controlled interactions with witnesses in court. In England and Wales witness familiarisation, endorsed in R v Momodou [2005],aimed to demystify the process and through practical guidance assist witnesses to give their best evidence in legal proceedings with the result that they are less likely to be confused, misled or unduly influenced by the process of cross-examination. This paper outlines empirical research which indicates familiarisation can be helpful; though argues that justice systems should develop to best practices for elicitation of accurate evidence and not leave it to witnesses to combat the system’s shortcomings. Given this is particularly acute for vulnerable witnesses (and familiarising witnesses to cross-examination is in its infancy), the paper suggests refinement of the question form shown to create the primary mischief in meeting trial goals. It draws attention to R v Lubemba [2014] which suggests there is no right to put a case to a witness in child cases.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: England and Wales; Evidence; Right to challenge; Witness familiarisation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
K Law > KD England and Wales
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Jacqueline Wheatcroft
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2018 16:47
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:05
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/6221

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