The Witness Intermediary Scheme (WIS): a continued asset to the criminal justice system?
By denying vulnerable defendants access to the WIS, is the MoJ is denying equality of arms to defendants?
Decision not to grant an intermediary to a 14 year old quashed by the High Court
A District Judge’s decision not to grant an intermediary to a 14 year old boy with learning difficulties facing trial in the youth court was quashed by the High Court, who have ordered the appointment of an intermediary for the entirety his trial.
Court of Appeal judgment on intermediaries
R v Dean Thomas  EWCA Crim 117 Whether a defendant requires the assistance of an intermediary depends upon the complexity of the proceedings he or she faces, as well as the defendant’s particular needs. In this particular case the absence of an intermediary had not prevented the appellant’s effective participation. Details The appellant’s car […]
Report on young witnesses in the criminal courts
Researchers revisited an NSPCC report called 'Measuring up? Evaluating Implementation of Government commitments to young witnesses in criminal proceedings' (2009) to asses what progress has been made in the decade since its publication.
Court of Appeal judgment on vulnerable child defendants and intermediaries
The Court of Appeal considered an appeal against conviction based on the fact that the appellant had not had an intermediary despite one being required and that an adverse inference had then been drawn from the appellant's failure to give evidence.
Young witnesses (and defendants) urgently need intermediaries
A Voice for the Voiceless: The Victims’ Commissioner’s Review into the Provision of Registered Intermediaries for Children and Vulnerable Victims and Witnesses The victims’ commissioner has published a report based on findings from a research project in to the provision of Registered Intermediaries to vulnerable witnesses through the Witness Intermediary Scheme. Details Intermediaries are specialists […]
CBA call for evidence: failure to appoint intermediaries
The Criminal Bar Association (CBA) has expressed concern about the amendments to the Criminal Practice Direction in relation to intermediaries. It has requested practitioners to share their experience of defendants who have been badly disadvantaged by the Court’s failure to appoint an intermediary.
Amended Criminal Practice Directions – changes relating to intermediaries
The amended Criminal Practice Directions 2015 (in force on 4 April 2016) contains a revised practice direction on the appointment and use of intermediaries during criminal trials. The new practice direction has attracted criticism because it suggests intermediaries for defendants will be 'rare'.