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NCJ Number: 148250 Find in a Library
Title: Child Witnesses in British Courts (From Psychology and Law: International Perspectives, P 365-373, 1992, Friedrich Losel, Doris Bender, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-148224)
Author(s): R H Flin
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Walter de Gruyter & Co
1 Berlin 30, Germany United
Sale Source: Walter de Gruyter & Co
Genthiner Str 13
1 Berlin 30,
Germany (Unified)
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: Germany (Unified)
Annotation: Concern surfaced in Great Britain in the early 1980's over an increased number of child sexual abuse allegations, a series of unsuccessful prosecutions of child sexual abuse cases, and the development of victim support organizations.
Abstract: Scottish and English legal systems are entirely separate and have many distinctive features, yet both criminal justice systems are accusatorial in nature. This means that a child who has witnessed a crime or who has been victimized must appear in court as a witness. There are no formal age limits for admitting children's evidence, and child competence is assessed by the presiding judge. Many children suffer from anxiety before and during the trial, and some children experience negative effects of testifying in the longer term. Before contemplating legal reform, it is necessary to identify principal causes of stress for child witnesses and the psychological impact of children's involvement in legal proceedings. Major sources of stress are categorized according to pretrial, trial, and posttrial stages. Psychological effects of testifying on children are examined, and proposals for reducing children's stress are offered. 17 references, 1 table, and 2 figures
Main Term(s): Child victims
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child Sexual Abuse; Foreign courts; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Juvenile witnesses; Sexual assault victims; Victims in foreign countries
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