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Child Witnesses in Twentieth Century Australian Courtrooms

This book considers the law, policy and procedure for child witnesses in Australian criminal courts across the twentieth century. It uses the stories and experiences of over 200 children, in many cases using their own words from press reports, to highlight how the relevant law was - or was not - applied throughout this period. Les mer
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Om boka

This book considers the law, policy and procedure for child witnesses in Australian criminal courts across the twentieth century. It uses the stories and experiences of over 200 children, in many cases using their own words from press reports, to highlight how the relevant law was - or was not - applied throughout this period. The law was sympathetic to the plight of child witnesses and exhibited a significant degree of pragmatism to receive the evidence of children but was equally fearful of innocent men being wrongly convicted. The book highlights the impact 'safeguards' like corroboration and closed court rules had on the outcome of many cases and the extent to which fear - of children, of lies (or the truth) and of reform - influenced the criminal justice process. Over a century of children giving evidence in court it is `clear that the more things changed, the more they stayed the same'.

Fakta

Innholdsfortegnelse

1 Introduction.- 2 The child witness and the English legal system.- Part 2: Getting into Court.- 3 'Those troublesome men in blue': Police and child witnesses.- 4 'If the law doesn't get you, the Lord will': Competency and Capacity.- Part 3: Giving Evidence.- 5 'Making kiddies at home': The courtroom environment.- 6 'What the Nipper Said Was True' - Examination.- 7 'Trying to bend the law to fit': Corroboration.- 8 The role of the judicial officer.- Part 4: Reflections and Conclusions.- 9 The influence of women and women's philanthropic/community organisations.- 10 Understanding and recognising children.- 11 'Changes in law were full of danger': Conclusion.

Om forfatteren

Robyn Blewer is Lecturer at the Griffith University Law School in Queensland, Australia, and the Director of the Griffith University Innocence Project. She holds a Master of Criminology and Criminal Justice and completed her doctoral thesis as a member of the Australian Research Council's Laureate research project, 'The Prosecution Project'.