ARTICLE ABOUT NEELMA TRAINING EVENT, 16 APRIL 2018 VULNERABLE VICTIMS AND THE USE OF INTERMEDIARIES IN COURT On the evening of Monday 16th April 60 JPs, 1 Crown Court Judge and 2 District Judges crowded into court 1 at Snaresbrook Crown Court to hear from Baroness Newlove of Warrington, the Victims’ Commissioner and from Catherine O’Neill, a Registered Intermediary and Chair of Intermediaries for Justice [i] about how JPs can help vulnerable victims, witnesses and defendants get the support they need in court. Registered Intermediaries (RIs) are trained professionals who assist people who may have communication problems in the criminal justice system. Many of us have only rarely – if at all – encountered a Registered Intermediary in our courts […]

NSPCC Research Seminar on Young Witnesses’ Experiences of the Criminal Justice System 16th April 2018

IfJ committee members represented the voice of the intermediary at a research seminar last week. The seminar was aimed at discussing some of the issues which the NSPCC are currently looking at in relation to young witnesses in the criminal courts.    You will be have seen and hopefully completed Joyce Plotnikoff and Richard Woolfson’s survey about young witnesses which forms part of the research project they are carrying out for the NSPCC. The aim is to revisit the ‘Measuring Up’ paper which was originally published in 2009 and to see how things have changed for children in the criminal courts.Measuring Up Revisited.   This involves a review of policies as well as obtaining views across the CJS: the judiciary, lawyers, […]

Update: Letter of Concern

Following our Letter of Concern, members of the IfJ committee have been in close contact with The Ministry of Justice. Last week (10/4/18) we had a helpful meeting with Matthew Gould and Samantha Dine of MoJ and plan to meet on a regular basis.

IMPORTANT NEWS! Charity Status

We are delighted to announce that Intermediaries for Justice is now a charity! This has been the result of the dedication and determination of committee members and most importantly due to the part you, the members, have played in directing us in surveys and general feedback. Thank you so much for your involvement. Now that we have Charitable status, we hope more doors will open for us and that we will be able to expand to serve the public and professionals involved in the Justice System. Charity Registration Certificate

IfJ’s Letter of Concern

The Chair of IfJ, Catherine O’Neill, has composed a Letter of Concern regarding the proposed training of new recruits. Click here to read it.    

Working with Defendants

Docks – guilty already? In crown courts and many magistrates’ courts, defendants are expected to sit in a locked and mostly glassed dock throughout the various hearings and trial. Aside from security dock officers and interpreters, Intermediaries are the only court professionals who spend any length of time in a court dock. This side of the work of an Intermediary with defendants can be intimidating; sitting behind a glass screen, beside a person who may well be convicted of serious crimes, with the door locked and the hard seats firmly screwed to the floor. These glass docks were introduced as recently as 2000 and there is no statutory requirement or judicial authority for their use in our courts. Defendants are […]

Chair's Thoughts on The Guardian's article, 'Helping child witnesses'.

Chair’s Thoughts on The Guardian’s article, ‘Helping child witnesses’.

Intermediaries for Justice welcome the extremely informative article in today’s Guardian Magazine: Helping child witnesses: ‘One girl gave evidence with a hamster on her lap’. Ruth Marchant, Registered Intermediary and director of Triangle has raised awareness of the work of Intermediaries carried out throughout the country on a daily basis. The article describes well the process from referral, to investigation and then to trial with a young child. In addition to working with young children, Intermediaries work with adults and children who fall into the following categories: any child/young person under 18 years; Mental Health Disorders; Autism; Physical Disability (i.e. cerebral palsy, stroke, progressive disorders); Learning Disability and The Vulnerable Elderly. As communication specialists, as stated in the article, a large part of the Intermediary’s […]

Mental Health and Fair Trial report by JUSTICE

JUSTICE states ‘Suspects and defendants with mental ill health or learning disabilities need to be better identified and supported, in order to ensure their right to a fair trial in England, argues a JUSTICE report published on 27 November 2017. Around one in four adults in the UK are diagnosed with a mental illness during their lifetime and many more will experience changes in their mental well-being. Three quarters of people with mental health problems receive no support at all. The available evidence suggests that people in the criminal justice system are far more likely to suffer from mental health problems than the general population. Mental Health and Fair Trial, the result of  JUSTICE working party which started work in […]