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Vulnerable witnesses and children: final report signals the beginning of changes

Date:8 OCT 2015
This article summarises key recommendations from the Report of the Vulnerable Witnesses and Children Working Group. The group was chaired by Hayden J and Russell J and the report was published in February 2015. The author predicts substantial changes in rules and practice directions on the treatment of vulnerable witnesses and parties in the Family Court and outlines the possible impact on advocates, advocacy training, judges and intermediaries.

The article highlights that though the Family Court has been modernised in some areas, special measures are still ad hoc and resources will be required if recording of evidence, effective use of intermediaries, live links and screens are going to be available universally.

The author is the chair of The Advocate’s Gateway and was a member of the Vulnerable Witnesses and Children Working Group.

The full version of this article appeared in the March 2015 issue of  Family Law.

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