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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 140981 Find in a Library
Title: Status of the Witness and Witness Protection Before, During, and After the Criminal Proceedings
Author(s): R Screvens
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 15
Type: Survey (Cross-Cultural)
Format: Document
Language: French
Country: Belgium
Annotation: This report on the legal and practical situation of witnesses is based on an examination of 24 countries worldwide.
Abstract: The first part focuses on the legal position of witnesses, including the role of the witness in the preparation of and during the criminal procedure. In nearly all countries witnesses generally testify in public; they must appear when summoned and answer all questions. However, the legal protection extended to witnesses in most countries, except the United States, is minimal. The actual court practice of dealing with witnesses differs little from the legal situation, although the courts often take steps to protect the identity or privacy of witnesses. In special cases, several of the countries studied have the means to assure the safety of important witnesses (for example, through police protection, residence changes, and even identity changes). The article concludes that, given the growing organized crime problem, each country must take steps to assure witness protection and in some cases (such as media disclosure of witness names) international collaboration may be desirable.
Main Term(s): Witness protection
Index Term(s): Cross-cultural analyses; Legal doctrines; Witnesses
Note: Reprinted from Revue de Droit Penal et de Criminologie, January 1989
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