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Improving the reliability of child witness testimony in court : the importance of focusing on questioning techniques

Powell, Martine 2005, Improving the reliability of child witness testimony in court : the importance of focusing on questioning techniques, Current issues in criminal justice, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 137-143.

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Title Improving the reliability of child witness testimony in court : the importance of focusing on questioning techniques
Author(s) Powell, MartineORCID iD for Powell, Martine orcid.org/0000-0001-5092-1308
Journal name Current issues in criminal justice
Volume number 17
Issue number 1
Start page 137
End page 143
Publisher Institute of Criminology, University of Sydney
Place of publication Sydney, N.S.W.
Publication date 2005-07
ISSN 1034-5329
Summary Considerable discussion during recent years has focused on ways to increase the reliability of child witness evidence, and reduce the negative impact of the courtroom environment on children's credibility and their psychological well-being. A large proportion of this discussion has focused on removing child witnesses from the courtroom and developing alternative arrangements by which children can give evidence (e.g., videotaped statements used as evidence-in-chief, closed-circuit television). There is no doubt that these arrangements have played a major role in reducing children's feelings of uncertainty and intimidation, and they have increased the ability of children 10 tell their stories and answer questions reliably (Cashmore 2002; Eastwood & Patton 2002). However, there are many
other factors. apart from the physical environment in which a child's evidence is elicited, that impact on the quality and accuracy of a child witness's evidence.

This contemporary comment focuses on one of the most important factors that impacts on the quality and accuracy of a child's evidence; the questioning techniques. It offers four recommendations for improving the reliability of child witness evidence in court. along with justifications for these recommendations and suggestions for bow these recommendations might be implemented. Each suggestion focuses on the impact of questioning techniques, from pre-trial questioning to questioning during the trial. It does not focus on the rules of evidence regarding child statements or the physical environment in which children's evidence is elicited.
Language eng
Field of Research 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30003120

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
Higher Education Research Group
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