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Child giving evidence

Any child giving evidence in court, whether a defendant or a witness is entitled to special measures to make it easier for them to give evidence.

Child witnesses should be offered a court familiarisation visit before the day they need to go to court to give evidence.1 When the child arrives at court, they should be met by a trained witness supporter and taken to a witness waiting area.2

The child will be asked to promise to tell the truth, rather than taking an oath.3

The lawyers should consider the child’s age and understanding when asking questions to make sure that they fully understand.4

  1. Paragraph 3G.2, Criminal Practice Direction on Vulnerable Defendants, 2013  (back)
  2. Witness support has created an interactive courtroom to help young witnesses know what to expect when going to court.  (back)
  3. Section 28(1) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1963  (back)
  4. Planning to Question a Child or Young Person, The Advocates Gateway, Toolkit 6, 21 October 2013  (back)