Children's Testimony: A Handbook of Psychological Research and Forensic Practice

Children's Testimony: A Handbook of Psychological Research and Forensic Practice

Children's Testimony: A Handbook of Psychological Research and Forensic Practice

Children's Testimony: A Handbook of Psychological Research and Forensic Practice

Synopsis

The second edition of Children's Testimony is a fully up-to-date resource for practitioners and researchers working in forensic contexts and concerned with children's ability to provide reliable testimony about abuse.
  • Written for both practitioners and researchers working in forensic contexts, including investigative interviewers, police officers, lawyers, judges, expert witnesses, and social workers
  • Explores a range of issues involved with children's testimony and their ability to provide reliable testimony about experienced or witnessed events, including abuse
  • Avoids jargon and highly technical language
  • Includes a comprehensive range of contributions from an international group of practitioners and researchers to ensure topicality and relevance

Excerpt

The Wiley Series in the Psychology of Crime, Policing, and the Law publishes both single and multi-authored monographs and edited reviews of emerging areas of contemporary research. The purpose of this series is not merely to present research findings in a clear and readable form, but also to bring out their implications for both practice and policy. Books in this series are useful not only to psychologists, but also to all those involved in crime detection and prevention, child protection, policing, and judicial processes.

Concerns over the gathering and giving of children’s evidence have been a consistent theme of books in this series. The first, Dent and Flin’s Children as Witnesses (1992) reviewed research that undermined the view that child witnesses were necessarily unreliable and suggestible, and highlighted the legal and procedural difficulties children faced in having their evidence heard under the adversarial system of justice operated in courts in Britain, the United States, and most Commonwealth countries. It foreshadowed legal changes designed to make it easier for children to have their evidence heard in court, including the use of the live television link and pre-recorded interviews conducted by specially trained police officers and social workers as a substitute for live examination at court. In the ensuing years, such innovations were rapidly adopted in the United Kingdom and spread rapidly to other Commonwealth countries (Davies, 1999). However, the consequent increase in children testifying at court in turn provoked a backlash in legal and psychological opinion, fuelled by actual or potential miscarriages of justice involving inappropriate or leading interview procedures being used with vulnerable witnesses (Ceci & Bruck, 1995).

How to resolve the conflict between the need for children to have their voice heard in court and the rights of an accused to a fair and . . .

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