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Use of Alternative Ways of Giving Evidence by Vulnerable Witnesses: Current Proposals, Issues and Challenges

Victoria University of Wellington Law Review, Forthcoming

Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 2/2011

30 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2011 Last revised: 5 Apr 2015

Elisabeth McDonald

University of Canterbury

Yvette Tinsley

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law

Date Written: July 2, 2012

Abstract

Fifteen years after the Law Commission’s rejection of pre-trial recording of cross-examination, it is back on the reform agenda. Drawing from research examining comparative pre-trial and trial practices in cases of sexual offending, this article discusses the backdrop to the debate surrounding pre-recording, including the provisions of the Evidence Act 2006 and the approach of the courts to alternative ways of giving evidence. The benefits and drawbacks of pre-trial recording of evidence for adult witnesses are canvassed – including practical, evidential and psychological issues – leading to the conclusion that rather than a presumption in favour of any particular alternative way of giving evidence, close consideration of the individual circumstances of each case is required.

Keywords: evidence law, vulnerable witnesses, law reform, Evidence Act 2006

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

McDonald, Elisabeth and Tinsley, Yvette, Use of Alternative Ways of Giving Evidence by Vulnerable Witnesses: Current Proposals, Issues and Challenges (July 2, 2012). Victoria University of Wellington Law Review, Forthcoming; Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 2/2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1885145

Elisabeth McDonald (Contact Author)

University of Canterbury ( email )

Ilam Road
Christchurch 1
New Zealand

Yvette Tinsley

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

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