Our articles are written by experts in their field and include barristers, solicitors, judges, mediators, academics and professionals from a range of related disciplines. Family Law provides a platform for debate for all the important topics, from divorce and care proceedings to transparency and access to justice. If you would like to contribute please email editor@familylaw.co.uk.
A day in the life Of...
Read on

Child Witnesses in Family Proceedings: Should Intermediaries be Showing Us the Way?

Date:1 APR 2011

Penny Cooper

Professor City Law School City University London

The law's approach to children giving evidence has changed dramatically in recent years. This article describes how Ministry of Justice registered intermediaries facilitate communication with vulnerable witnesses. It also details what needs to happen in order for there to be a family court intermediary scheme which will help children and other vulnerable witnesses give their best evidence.

The law on children giving evidence is now as stated by the Supreme Court in Re W (Children) (Abuse: Oral Evidence) [2010] UKSC 12 [2010] 1 FLR 1485. In setting the test for the future the court identified two principal considerations: the advantages which hearing from the child will bring to the determination of the truth in the case and the damage that that process may do to the child. The welfare of the child is a relevant but not paramount consideration. The object of the proceedings is to promote the welfare of children and accordingly their interests may need to be...

Read the full article here.