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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Evidence of children and vulnerable witnesses: Part 1
© Copyright LexisNexis 2023. All rights reserved.
Intimidated witnesses in family proceedings
This article (the first of two) considers the evidence of any witness in family proceedings where that evidence diverges from the general procedural rules (as explained below) for evidence in family proceedings. Such evidence will be from the following:
- witnesses and parties who are adult and of full capacity but whose evidence may be in some way be ‘diminished by [their] vulnerability’ (Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010) rr 3A.4(1) and 3A.5(1));
- children who give evidence in their own or others’ cases;
- witnesses who are protected parties or otherwise lack mental capacity; and
- witnesses with learning difficulties.
This article sets the scene for circumstances in which the court may order assistance for these children and vulnerable witnesses by ‘control’ (FPR 2010 r 22.1(1)) of the way the evidence is put before the court. A second will look at the particular measures available to the courts at common law and within the rules to provide this assistance for children and vulnerable witnesses. The two articles are prompted by the introduction on 27 November 2017 of FPR 2010 Pt 3A (for ‘Vulnerable persons: participation in proceedings and giving evidence’) ...
Read the full article here.