One step forward and two steps back? The ‘20 Principles’ for questioning vulnerable witnesses and the lack of an evidence-based approach

Cooper, C., Dando, C.J., Ormerod T., Mattison, M., Marchant, R., Milne, R. and Bull, R. 2018. One step forward and two steps back? The ‘20 Principles’ for questioning vulnerable witnesses and the lack of an evidence-based approach. International Journal of Evidence and Proof. 22 (4), pp. 392-410. doi:10.1177/1365712718793435

TitleOne step forward and two steps back? The ‘20 Principles’ for questioning vulnerable witnesses and the lack of an evidence-based approach
TypeJournal article
AuthorsCooper, C., Dando, C.J., Ormerod T., Mattison, M., Marchant, R., Milne, R. and Bull, R.
Abstract

It is a widely held belief that questioning vulnerable witnesses is a specialist skill. In England and Wales vulnerable witness advocacy training built around ‘20 Principles’ has been developed and is being delivered. The 20 Principles do not cite a tested theoretical framework(s) or empirical evidence in support. This paper considers whether the 20 Principles are underpinned by research evidence. It is submitted that advocacy training and the approach to questioning witnesses in the courtroom should take into account the already available research evidence. The authors make recommendations for revision of the 20 Principles and for a wider review of
the approach taken to the handling of witness evidence.

Keywordsadvocacy, questioning, training, vulnerable, witnesses
JournalInternational Journal of Evidence and Proof
Journal citation22 (4), pp. 392-410
ISSN1365-7127
Year2018
PublisherSage
Accepted author manuscriptAuthors Final Cooper at al. 2018 One step forward two steps back 20 Principles JEP.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1177/1365712718793435
Publication dates
Published online19 Aug 2018

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