Pre-Trial Witness Interviews and the 'Justice Gap' - A Plea for Sophistication in Criminal Procedure Reform
66 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2009
Date Written: October 9, 2009
Drawing extensively on new empirical data, this article presents pre-trial witness interviewing by Crown Prosecutors (PTWI) as an illuminating case-study in criminal procedure reform and its evaluation. Various rationales for PTWI are canvassed and compared against documented experience during its Pilot Evaluation. Proceeding from the deceptively simple instrumental objective of increasing convictions, the discussion broadens out into a more comprehensive evaluation of the intrinsic merits and limitations of PTWI. Having indicated the wider implications of this case-study for policies aimed at tackling ‘the justice gap’, the article concludes by advancing a general argument for greater sophistication in the planning, execution and ongoing evaluation of criminal procedure reform.
Keywords: witness interviewing, prosecutions, Crown Prosecution Service, criminal procedure reform, socio-legal research
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