​Balancing fairness to victims, society and defendants in the cross-examination of vulnerable witnesses: an impossible triangulation?

Author(s) Bowden, Phoebe, Terese Henning, and David Plater
Title Balancing fairness to victims, society and defendants in the cross-examination of vulnerable witnesses: an impossible triangulation?
Source Melbourne University Law Review; 2014; Vol.37, p539-584
Date 2014
Document type Journal article
Coverage Australia
Summary In this article the author discusses the need for reform in all Australian jurisdictions for the questioning of children and witnesses with intellectual disability and advocates for an independent interviewer with specialist qualifications in questioning such witnesses, based on the Norway model. A comprehensive review is presented of current measures in place to support vulnerable witnesses in Australia and a discussion of the needs of vulnerable witnesses. The intermediary models of England, South Africa and Norway are explored and the application of the Norway model, which is based in an inquisitorial system, to Australian jurisdictions is examined in depth. In Norway vulnerable witnesses are either assisted by a well-qualified person in the examination or the examination is conducted by the qualified person under the control of the judge and is conducted in a separate rom, linked by CCTV to the courtroom. The process used in Norway must be carried out no later than two weeks after the matter was reported to the police.
Keywords Vulnerable witness; cross examination; intermediaries; children
Topic Vulnerable witnesses