Author Topic: CRIME WRITING: Linguistic tools used for discrediting child witnesses in court  (Read 3352 times)

Munley

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This is an amazingly detaIled .pdf resource  (68 pages) on children as witnesses in court.
It's aim is to help children who are called to be witnesses.

www.lfcc.on.ca/Helping_a_Child_Witness.pdf

It's a Canadian resource that spells out Canadian legal procedures, such as a promise to tell the truth allowed for children, rather than an oath. But it also discusses children in general as witnesses to a crime.

It goes into how to prepare children (people under 18, specifically) to testify and all the concerns and cautions that go into it.

For both children and adults, anxiety can have a big effect on how well they can recall details and even speak about them.

On page 20, Section 27 of this document, there is a section on the linguistic arsenal that gets used in cross-examination to confuse young witnesses, especially very young children, which can be very anxiety-provoking and result in making the child's testimony appear unreliable. It also discusses ways to help children be prepared for this.