Latest Expert Witness News

What psychological expert witnesses can and cannot do in respect to children’s testimony
18/05/2012 15:29:27

Dr Sarah Krähenbühl, an associate member of PsychologyDirect, Chartered Psychologist and Lecturer in Psychology atStaffordshire University and also with The Open University, hasundertaken extensive research on interviewing strategies used inchildren’s forensic interviews and as such has highly specialised skillsin the area of child testimony.  Dr Krähenbühl is a joint holder of aresearch grant from the British Academy to fund a project examiningground rule implementation in Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) andassociated effects on children’s testimony.

In the last 2 years Dr Krähenbühl has written over twenty expertwitness reports concerning the reliability and credibility of children’sevidence, competency and/or cognitive ability for the Family orCriminal Courts and have given evidence in the Family, Magistrates andCrown Courts in both England and Wales and Scotland.  In a recentarticle in Counsel Magazine DrKrähenbühl expalins that she has “come to realise that there is a lackof understanding and awareness of the role of the expert witness andwhat he/she can and cannot do in the assessment of children’stestimony.”   She has also found that the quality of the informationobtained during the interviewing of a child witness “variesconsiderably”.

This area of Expert Witness work requires highly specialised trainingand experience and Experts In Child Testimony are often asked to assessthe Competency, Veracity and/or Credibility of a Child Witness.

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