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

Joanne Morrison, Rachel Forrester-Jones, Jill Bradshaw, Glynis Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1-32
Number of pages32
JournalThe International Journal of Evidence and Proof
Early online date3 Jun 2019
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jun 2019

Cite this

Communication and cross-examination in court for children and adults with intellectual disabilities: a systematic review. / Morrison, Joanne; Forrester-Jones, Rachel; Bradshaw, Jill; Murphy, Glynis.

In: The International Journal of Evidence and Proof, 03.06.2019, p. 1-32.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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