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Child Q - England's Youngest Witness

boyandteddyCaroline Wigin provides a practical approach to the evidence of children 

On the 26th February 2010, Child Q was put to bed around 8.00 p.m. At that time he was happy and healthy. In the household were the child and two adults, his mother and his mother’s cohabitee, R. At 9.00 a.m. on the 27th February 2010, an ambulance was called and at 10.00 a.m. he was received into A&E. He had extensive bruising to the groin, back, face and leg. 

30 June 2012
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Making the Right Choice?

june2012counselhandonbookRaffia Arshad considers the law, case law and guidance surrounding Oaths and Affirmations 

To an experienced courtroom advocate, a witness swearing the oath to tell the truth is the means to an end. However, sometimes the process itself can throw up complications. Can a judge compel a practising Muslim to swear on the Quran if he or she instead chooses to affirm? Some recent decisions show that both the bench and the Bar can get it wrong. 

31 May 2012
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Electronic Evidence Second Edition

Stephen Mason, Barrister, with a team of international contributors
Publisher LexisNexis. Price: £178.21
ISBN/ISSN: 9781405749121. April 2010

Paper is terribly last millennium. Relevant material now regularly exists on servers, laptops, mobile telephones and a whole variety of gadgets. Pressure for electronic service and presentation of cases is coming from a variety of sources, such as the CPS’ digital drive starting this April. For counsel to advise properly, there is a need to understand the workings of these little black boxes, not only so that challenges can be made but also so that such technology can be used to best present one’s case. 

29 February 2012
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Child Testimony

Dr Sarah Krähenbühl explains what psychological expert witnesses can and cannot do in respect to children’s testimony

One police interview video shows a girl, 5 years old, who refuses to sit still, chatters happily and only occasionally answers the questions asked; another shows an older boy who answers in monosyllables and displays no emotion throughout the interview. In both videos, the interviewers do their best; they continue asking questions, try alternative techniques, remain patient but are clearly aware of the limited time available… 

29 February 2012
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Is Digital Evidence Really Forensic?

Colin Smith looks at the issues arising when using digital evidence in court

How often is it now that none of the evidence in a case is digital? That a case has no information from a computer, mobile phone, company server, laptop? Digital evidence is all around us, but why does it often evade the robust challenging it probably deserves?
Any information that has come from digital sources must be treated diligently if the evidence is to prove reliable and strong. This is well known to digital forensic examiners. Being one myself I became very used to being reminded of the principles of forensics early on, which has resulted in me religiously maintaining the forensic standard of my evidence. 

31 December 2011
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Recorded Evidence

Dr Kevin Smith discusses the revised Achieving Best Evidence guidance aimed at improving the quality of video-recorded interviews in criminal proceedings. He also analyses the implications of recent amendments to special measures legislation 

31 October 2011
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A hot-tub of experts

Expert witness

A ‘hot-tubbing’ pilot in Manchester produced positive results, Lord Neuberger has told expert witnesses.

31 October 2011
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Hearsay evidence


Hearsay evidence is not admissible in a General Medical Council (GMC) disciplinary hearing where a doctor’s professional life is at stake, the High Court has held.

31 July 2011
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Barren Lands?

junebarrenIs the world of legal expert witnesses becoming deserted?  Has Jones v Kaney [2011] UKSC 13, in which the Supreme Court abolished their immunity from actions for breach of duty, made matters worse? Penny Cooper examines the case…  



31 May 2011 / Penny Cooper
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Expert evidence test


The Law Commission has proposed more stringent procedures on expert evidence to prevent defendants being wrongfully convicted on the basis of flawed evidence.

30 April 2011
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