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Child witnesses in NZ criminal courts : issues, responses, opportunities Chief Victims Advisor to Government (Kim McGregor). This report was prepared by Dr Kirsten Hanna and Dr Emily Henderson.

By: McGregor, Kim [Chief Victims Advisor to Government].
Contributor(s): Hanna, Kirsten | Henderson, Emily.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Wellington, New Zealand : Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata Safe and Effective Justice, 2019Description: electronic document (54 pages) ; PDF file.Subject(s): Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata Safe and Effective Justice | CRIMINAL JUSTICE | CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE | CHILDREN | VICTIMS OF CRIMES | VICTIMS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE | VIDEO EVIDENCE | NEW ZEALANDOnline resources: Click here to access online | Chief Victims Advisor website Summary: This paper considers the problems facing child witnesses who testify in the NZ adult criminal courts, and responses and opportunities to address those problems. Children are defined as young people under 18, in accordance with the Evidence Act 2006 and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The focus is on complainants and witnesses, although we make reference to young defendants in the adult courts where appropriate. Most children who testify in the adult courts do so as complainants of sexual offence cases (Hanna, Davies, Henderson, Crothers, & Rotherham, 2010) for which there are rarely other witnesses or corroborating evidence. The child’s testimony is therefore often the most crucial prosecution evidence and becomes the subject of intense scrutiny during cross-examination. (From the Executive summary). Record #6519
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Released 9 December 2019. Report cover dated 2017.

This paper considers the problems facing child witnesses who testify in the NZ adult criminal courts, and responses and opportunities to address those problems. Children are defined as young people under 18, in accordance with the Evidence Act 2006 and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The focus is on complainants and witnesses, although we make reference to young defendants in the adult courts where appropriate.

Most children who testify in the adult courts do so as complainants of sexual offence cases (Hanna, Davies, Henderson, Crothers, & Rotherham, 2010) for which there are rarely other witnesses or corroborating evidence. The child’s testimony is therefore often the most crucial prosecution evidence and becomes the subject of intense scrutiny during cross-examination. (From the Executive summary). Record #6519

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