(This guide in in the process of being updated. The new version will be published in 2020)
The Youth Justice Legal Centre (YJLC) has published a lawyer’s guide to the use of intermediaries for child defendants.
The Judicial College has recognised that there are poor levels of awareness of the benefits of intermediary use, and yet research suggests that the majority of child defendants will meet the criteria for assessment by an intermediary:1
“Assessment by an intermediary should be considered for … defendants under 18 who seem liable to misunderstand questions or to experience difficulty expressing answers, including those who seem unlikely to be able to recognise a problematic question (such as one that is misleading or not readily understood), and those who may be reluctant to tell a questioner in a position of authority if they do not understand.”[Amended Criminal Practice Directions (CPD) 2015 (updated 4 April 2016); paragraph 3F.26]
The YJLC Intermediary Guide provides practical guidance to lawyers on how to use intermediaries to enable child defendants to effectively participate in criminal proceedings.