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Witness Testimony in Sexual Cases: Evidential, Investigative and Scientific Perspectives

Edited by: Pamela Radcliffe, Gisli H. Gudjonsson, Anthony Heaton-Armstrong, David Wolchover

ISBN13: 9780199672936
Published: January 2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £78.00

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Sexual cases are inherently complex and sometimes controversial presenting the practitioner with a multitude of procedural and legal challenges. The increasing number of sexual cases, often historic, places significant demands upon the criminal justice system.

Sexual offending is recognised as a specialist area which demands unique skills from the practitioner and handling witness testimony in these cases calls for skills and knowledge that encompass both law and science.

Witness Testimony in Sexual Cases focuses on legal and scientific considerations that arise when obtaining and evaluating sexual complaint testimony. It provides comprehensive and balanced coverage of this difficult and challenging topic across the complete spectrum of involvement in the legal process.

This book equips legal professionals with an understanding of current legal and scientific issues when investigating, evaluating and testing witness testimony in sexual cases. Using a didactic approach the book combines an exposition on the law and procedure with a range of specialist perspectives on cognitive processes pertaining to vulnerable and non-vulnerable witnesses.

The book identifies psychiatric and psychological factors that may enhance or impair the quality of witness testimony for instance where a witness suffers from mental health problems or where long-term memory recall is involved.

The book provides practitioners with an understanding of factors which tend to undermine the reliability of witness testimony, but also focuses on those factors which may enhance witness quality. Witness Testimony in Sexual Cases draws together learning not readily available and encourages an integral and rigorous approach to the analysis of witness testimony in the special context of sexual cases.

Evidence, Criminal Law

1. Witness testimony: Context, vulnerabilities and issues
2. Prosecuting sexual offences in England and Wales
3. Disclosure issues in the investigation and trial of allegations of sexual assault
4. Abuse of process and delayed prosecutions
5. Two Aspects of the Statutory restriction on introducing the complainant s sexual history
6. Bad Character provisions and their application to sexual offences
7. Expert evidence in trials of sexual offences
8. Defending serious sexual assault: Ethical and effective advocacy
9. Sexual allegations against medical professionals
10. Sexual allegations and evidence gathering in the family court
11. International case studies
12. Institutional abuse inquiries

13. Analysing and improving the testimony of vulnerable witnesses interviewed under the Achieving Best Evidence protocol.
14. Investigative practice
15. Providing for the needs of witnesses
16. Understanding what children say: Avoiding the pitfalls of child testimony
17. Forensic science, forensic medicine and sexual crime
18. The interpretation of clinical signs of sexual abuse in children
19. Child and adolescent sexual assault examinations: Good practice and key issues
20. Common psychiatric, psychological and learning disorders and treatment
21. Neurological memory disorders
22. Memory and reliability: Developments and controversial issues
23. How misconceptions about memory may undermine witness testimony
24. Pathological lying
25. Conclusion