The forensic context of children’s evidence1.Child victims as witnesses(e.g., child abuse)2.Child witnesses who are not victims3
Are child witnesses taken seriously?Cashmore & Bussey Perceptions of child witnesses by Australian judges/magistrates4
Why not?Beliefs about children’s suggestibility“Most dangerously, a policeman taking a statement from a child may without ill will use leading questions so that the child tends to confuse what actually happened with the answer suggested implicitly by the question” (Heydon, 1984)5
EG Police (SK) interviewSK: Wearing a poncho and cap?Child: I think it was a cap.SK: What sort of cap was it? Was it like a beret or peaked cap, or..?Child: No. It has a sort of...it flared with a little piece coming out (demonstrates). With a sort of button thing in the middleSK: Was it a peak like that, that sort of thing?