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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 119561 Find in a Library
Title: Children's Evidence by Video Link
Corporate Author: Law Reform Cmssn of Australia
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 52
Sponsoring Agency: Law Reform Cmssn of Australia
Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This paper examines the use of video link technology in the Australian Capital Territory as a means of reducing the trauma experienced by a child witness.
Abstract: Video link is a system of closed circuit television monitors linking the courtroom to an outside room by picture and sound. By enabling the child to give evidence from outside the courtroom, video link could help to protect the child from the anxiety of courtroom ritual and the fear or embarassment of testifying before a group of strangers. In reducing the stress of testifying, video link could also enhance the accuracy and clarity of a child's testimony. Some argue, however, that video link erodes the rights of the accused in some cases. It may cause the jury to assume that the child witness needs to be protected from the accused. The Law Commission concludes that the use of video link has sufficient merit to support its practical application on a test basis. The commission recommends that the magistrates court have discretion to implement a flexible procedure for the use of the technology within certain safeguards. This would be achieved through an ordinance that would apply for a 12-month trial period. The paper also suggests a method for evaluating the impact of video link. 20 footnotes, 34-item bibliography.
Main Term(s): Juvenile witnesses; Video taped testimony
Index Term(s): Australia; Rights of the accused
Note: Discussion Paper Number 40.
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