Children in court - Part 2

Conclusions and recommendations

Key Point No 1

Recommendations

i. That consideration be given to the establishment of an overall strategy whereby all children are given equal access to a basic, consistent, appropriate and child-centred level of court preparation country-wide.

Key Point No 2

Recommendations

i. The length of time all child witnesses are required to wait for trial dates should be kept to a minimum. The implementation of the fast track system should be reviewed with this in mind.

ii. In order to minimise the time spent in the building, it is recommended that:

- all decisions about the trial should be made before any child attends court, and that early decisions should be taken about who is required to give evidence;4

- the child should only be required to enter the building when the court is ready to hear their evidence.

Key Point No 3

Recommendations

i.That where possible and appropriate, the individual child's views as to his/her preferred method of giving evidence, should be considered.

ii.That any child using CCTV to give evidence should have access to the same level of personal support that is available to other witnesses. They should routinely be allowed to be accompanied into the CCTV link room by a supporter as well as an usher.

iii. That any assessment about the needs of a child should not be based on the nature of the offence but on the needs of each individual child.


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