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Intermediaries in the Criminal Justice System


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Table of Contents

Introduction: a fresh pair of eyes; The intermediary scheme in England and Wales; Behind the scenes: planning to assess the witness; Assessment methods and involvement of the interviewer; Communication aids and stress reduction strategies; Contributing to the effectiveness of the police interview; Negotiating professional space at the ground rules hearing; Making the ground rules hearing effective; `Every reasonable step': preparation for giving evidence; Cross-examination: research, case law, training and regulation; Cross-examination: intervention at trial; Cross-examination: challenges at the cutting edge; The uneasy position of vulnerable defendants; A new profession; Conclusion.

About the Author

Joyce Plotnikoff DBE and Dr Richard Woolfson have conducted vulnerable witness research for over 20 years. Joyce is a lawyer, social worker and expert adviser to the Judicial College. Richard started out as a mathematician. He was formerly a magistrate; member of the Civil Justice Council's Access to Justice subgroup; and chair of his local Courts Board and Crown Prosecution Service Local Scrutiny Involvement Panel. They co-founded, launched in 2013.


"This book made me laugh out loud, wince and take sharp intakes of breath - sometimes at the same moment. It shows that the police service has travelled a long way but still has a lot to learn." Liz Hall, Police Training Coordinator, UK
"This book is warmly recommended: whether for a lawyer, or a general reader." - Archbold Review
"This book is a must-have for practitioners interested in using intermediaries." Criminal Law Journal
"For practitioners, judges and the public, it is an important book to read." Counsel Magazine
"A vivid picture of the creativity and professionalism of intermediaries, providing an important record of what has happened, what is happening, and what needs to happen. Compelling reading!" Dr Kirsten Hanna, AUT University, New Zealand
"An essential guide to the most innovative special measure and a road map on how the criminal justice system can and should adapt to the needs of vulnerable witnesses and defendants." David Wurtzel, Consultant, UK
"Essential reading if you are considering the role or are a criminal justice professional." Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
"This book is superb value for money, and provides not just a background reference but a source of practical advice alongside legal information." Sussex Partnership NHS Trust
"A truly outstanding book which sheds light on the momentum that intermediaries give to reforms designed to achieve effective communication in court and draws together all the seismic developments over the last 20 years." Judge Peter Rook QC, Old Bailey, UK
"A comprehensive and illuminating account of the intermediary's role founded on the authors' vast experience and substantial research...packed with accessible illustrations and practical guidance." Professor David Ormerod QC, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
"This book should form an essential part of every criminal practitioner's reading. It provides a clear and concise account of how to recognise vulnerable witnesses and defendants and how they should be supported by intermediaries through the criminal justice system." Ian Kelcey, Solicitor, former Chair, Law Society Criminal Law Committee (England and Wales)

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