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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 222121 Find in a Library
Title: Hearsay Evidence and Children
Author(s): Alison Cunningham M.A.; Pamela Hurley M.Ed.
Corporate Author: Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Canada Department of Justice
Ottawa ON K1A 0H8, Canada
Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System
London, Ontario N6A 5P6, Canada
Publication Number: ISBN 978-1-895953-39-8
Sale Source: Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System
London Family Court Clinic, Inc.
200-254 Pall Mall Street
Suite 200
London, Ontario N6A 5P6,
Type: Handbook
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English; French
Country: Canada
Annotation: The focus of this handbook is on the use of children’s out-of-court statements as evidence, offering aid to frontline justice professionals who use special accommodations and testimonial aids for young witnesses in criminal proceedings.
Abstract: Hearsay is secondhand information, when a witness testifies not about something he or she witnessed or experienced (direct evidence) but about what someone else said. As a general rule, these “out-of-court statements” are not admissible. This is the hearsay rule. This topic usually comes into play when a child discloses information about a criminal victimization but cannot testify, because he/she is too young to testify. The recipient of the disclosure may be permitted to repeat the child’s statement in court. Because of young age, emotional trauma, or the passage of time, some children cannot give direct evidence. In 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada first ruled that a child’s out-of-court statement is admissible when reasonably necessary and where the circumstances suggest it is reliable. In other words, if a child describes events related to a criminal victimization, but is unable or unavailable to testify, the person who received the information can repeat the child’s words from the witness box; this is hearsay evidence. The other six handbooks in this series on using special accommodations and testimonial aids to facilitate the testimony of children are entitled: Overview of Issues Related to Child Testimony, Testimony Outside the Courtroom, Witness Screens, Video-recorded Evidence, Designated Support Person, and Children and Teenagers Testifying in Domestic Violence Cases. List of suggest reading
Main Term(s): Juvenile witnesses
Index Term(s): Children in the courtroom; Crime reporting by children; Testimony; Witness credibility
Note: This is book 6 of a seven handbook series. See NCJ-222116-120 and NCJ-222122 for other books in the series.
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