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Family Law
CPD Points:
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Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority:
Listen and pass the quiz: Gain 1 CPD point (60 minutes)
Listen only, gain ½ a CPD point (30 minutes)

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board:
Listen and pass the quiz: Gain 1 accredited CPD point (60 minutes)

Regulated by ILEX:
Listen and pass the quiz: Gain 1 CPD point (60 minutes)
Listen only, gain ½ a CPD point (30 minutes)

  • FREE
30 minutes of audio
(+ optional 5 minute online quiz)
Plays on Computer:
Yes Downloadable as MP3:    Yes
Course Aims:

This podcast is aimed at family law practitioners interested in the process of interviewing vulnerable and child witnesses. It will explore the guidance issued to ensure best practice when conducting visually recorded interviews with victims and witnesses. It will also examine some recent authorities to highlight the way in which the courts have dealt with ABE interviews and gives a useful checklist for practitioners to refer to when analysing interviews.

Date recorded: 6th February 2012

After completing the course you will:
  • Be familiar with the history and scope of interviewing children and appreciate the difficulties involved;
  • Know what the relevant guidance is and understand why it is needed;
  • Be aware of the practice issues identified by the ACPO guidance;
  • Understand the generic good practice in terms of interviewing victims and witnesses and in preparing them to give their best evidence in court;
  • Be familiar with the requirements of each of the various stages that should be included within the planning, conduct and evaluation of an effective interview with a child or vulnerable witness;
  • Have considered the way in which the courts have approached deficiencies in a child’s ABE interview in recent case law;
  • Be aware of the relevant considerations for practitioners when analysing ABE interviews.
Intermediate Difficulty: 3 of 5
Practical Guide
Sources and References:
  • Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: Guidance for Vulnerable and Intimidated Witnesses, Including Children (Home Office 2002);
  • Advice on the Structure of Visually Recorded Witness Interviews (“the ACPO guidance”)(August 2010);
  • Criminal Justice Act 1967;
  • Criminal Justice Act 1988;
  • Criminal Justice Act 1991;
  • Guidance on the Recording of Interviews with Vulnerable and Significant (Key) Witnesses (ACPO 2002);
  • Memorandum of Good Practice on Video-Recorded Interviews with Child Witnesses for Criminal Proceedings (Home Office 1992);
  • MoJ Circular 2011/03 – Publication of Achieving Best Evidence: Guidance on Interviewing Victims and Witnesses, and Guidance on using Special Measures (3rd edition)(21st March 2011);
  • Murder Investigation Manual (ACPO 1998);
  • R v B [2010] EWCA Crim 4;
  • Re TW [2011] EWCA Civ 17;
  • Re W (Children) (Abuse: Oral Evidence) [2010] UKSC 12;
  • Re W [2010] Civ 57;
  • Report of the Inquiry into Child Abuse in Cleveland 1987 (Cm 412) (Cleveland);
  • The Report of the Advisory Group on Video Evidence (the Pigot Report)(1989);
  • The Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 (YJCEA).

In this podcast Elizabeth Isaacs, a child care barrister from St. Ives chambers explains how to approach sexual abuse allegations in family proceedings and children’s interviews.

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