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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.