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Communication and cross-examination in court for children and adults with intellectual disabilities: A systematic review

Morrison, J., Forrester-Jones, R., Bradshaw, J., Murphy, G. (2019) Communication and cross-examination in court for children and adults with intellectual disabilities: A systematic review. The International Journal of Evidence & Proof, 23 (4). pp. 366-398. ISSN 1365-7127. E-ISSN 1740-5572. (doi:10.1177/1365712719851134) (KAR id:75522)

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Courts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have identified children and adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) as vulnerable witnesses. The call from the English Court of Appeal is for advocates to adjust questioning during cross-examination according to individual needs. This review systematically examined previous empirical studies with the aim of delineating the particular communication needs of children and adults with ID during cross-examination. Studies utilising experimental methodology similar to examination/cross-examination processes, or which assessed the communication of actual cross-examinations in court were included. A range of communication challenges were highlighted including: suggestibility to leading questions and negative feedback; acquiescence; accuracy; and understanding of court language. In addition, a number of influencing factors were identified, including: age; IQ level; question styles used; recall memory; and delays. This review highlights the need for further research using cross-examination methodology and live practice, that take into consideration the impact on communication of the unique environment and situation of the cross-examination process.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1365712719851134
Uncontrolled keywords: Communication, cross-examination, court, intellectual disability, learning difficulties, learning disability, vulnerable defendant, vulnerable witness
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Jill Bradshaw
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2019 21:49 UTC
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2021 11:58 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Morrison, J.:
Forrester-Jones, R.:
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