Annual Conference and AGM: Celebrating Intermediaries and IfJ - Keeping on Keeping on

IfJ training: Seminar and Conferences

Event details


18 May 2023


09:30- 17:00


Online Zoom
United Kingdom

Booking info

Max participants: 100
Course facilitator(s) bio:

Professor Lucy Henry

Lucy's PhD was on the development of working memory in children (University of Oxford) and she started her career lecturing in developmental psychology at the University of Reading. She subsequently trained as a Clinical Psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (King's College London), and her current post is Professor of Speech and Language at City, University of London. Lucy's research combines her interests in developmental and clinical psychology, as it concerns memory and cognition in children with developmental conditions. She has a particular interest in witness skills in both neurotypical and neurodiverse children. Lucy was the Principal Investigator on an ESRC-funded project (2013-2016) investigating witness skills among autistic and non-autistic children; this project also explored the role of intermediaries in enhancing the quality of evidence. 

Nigel O'Mara - Qualified Counsellor

I was born in 1963 in Surrey.

In 1986, I helped found and trained at Survivors UK; the first helpline service for male survivors in the UK. We were an organisation offering support for a crime that was not properly recognised in law at the time. There was no such crime as rape of a male - we lobbied and called for change at every opportunity to try to stop the injustices this legal position allowed. It took eight years for the first real change to be made, which started to really equalise the legal position for male survivors. Unfunded and with the scantest of training, we tried to offer what we could. 

In 1994, I had to get out of the UK for both my sanity and safety. I stayed out of the UK for most of the next 20 years. I still gave support to survivors and organisations while I was out of the UK and knew that some day I would need to return to the unfinished business. That moment came when the UK started to wake up to what these people had been able to get away with for so long. And along with others, I started to campaign again for an inquiry, which is now taking its evidence. 

In 2015, I formed East Midlands Survivors as a support and service organisation, running training presentations for CCGs and GPs through bespoke training workshops and offering support for those wishing to interact with the IICSA, as well as developing and delivering new services while working with survivors and local officials to overhaul sexual abuse support services in the county of Nottinghamshire. 

The IICSA marches on and as it is evolving, for my part, I am trying to ensure that survivors' voices are heard as much as possible within the inquiry and are at the heart of all of its considerations. As a designated core participant to the accountability and reparations module of the inquiry, I am having discussions with survivors, insurance companies, legal representatives and others to try and make sure that we get the best out of the information and submissions that are made; that we are able to show survivors that real change is happening; and that there will be no more need for a survivor to fear coming forward to report abuse. 

My hope is that, in the next few years, we will see it become easy and clear about how people can bring forward their concerns about abuse without ending up being attacked or losing their jobs. Mandatory reporting will, I hope, become a reality with proper procedures in place for whistleblowers - giving them the respect and dignity they deserve. 

Dr Kim Turner

Dr Kim Turner is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health and Education at Manchesther Metropolitan University. She is a qualified speech and language therapist, with over 15 years' clinical experience in the fields of mental health and criminal justice. In 2010, she moved to work at HM YOI Feltham with male, young offenders and developed the service there. In 2016, the service won the RCSLT's Sternberg Award for Clinical Innovation after becoming the first prison in the country to gain autism accreditation with the National Autistic Society. Kim is passionate about supporting those with speech, language and communication needs to have equity of access to justice and rehabilitation. She has worked with the government, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, The Communication Trust, ICAN, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Disability Matters and NICE to develop resources and standards in this area. 

Dr Tina Pereira

Tina Pereira PhD is an intermediary who works with complainants, defendants, suspects and in family courts. She has many years of experience working in the areas of learning disability with a specific focus on low technology communication aids to elicit best evidence. Tina runs bespoke training for professionals working in the justice system in the area of communication and vulnerability. 

For IfJ's 10th anniversary, we are holding a conference celebrating everything that we and intermediaries in general have achieved over the last decade. 


09:15 Regisration 

09:30-10:30 Welcome, AGM and election of officers

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-11:30 Opening Celebratory Talks

  • David Wurtzel - Retired Barrister (10:45)
  • Jan Jones - Registered Intermediary and Former IfJ Chair (11:00)
  • Vicky Heron - Chair of RIRT (11:10) 
  • Robert Thomas - ASP Intermediary and IfJ Trustee (11:20) 
  • Francesca Castellano - MASP Intermediary with TIC and IfJ Trustee (11:20)

11:30-11:45 Break

11:45-12:30 Professor Lucy Henry - Intermediaries and cross-examination performance in primary school-age children

  • 35 min presentation, plus 10 min Q&A

This talk will describe an experimental study that looked at how barristers questioned children about an event they had witnessed a year previously, and how likely children were to comply with 'false' statements. Experienced barristers were asked to question (challenge) children on key details in a defence statement from a 'mock perpetrator', many of which were false. Some children received assistance from an intermediary, whereas the remainder were questioned without assistance. Children with intermediary assistance were less compliant with barrister challenges concerning false information. The beneficial role of RIs in tempering the adverse effects of cross-examination style questioning for children will be discussed. 

12:30-13:15 Breakout rooms for themed discussions and a poll to be taken before lunch (questions will be sent in advance)

13:15-14:00 Lunch (networking rooms open for those who wish) 

14:00-14:45 Nigel O'Mara - A Survivor's response and role in the IICSA public inquiry

  • 35 min presentation, plus 10 min Q&A

A 35-year overview of the effects of child sexual abuse and how the government has responded to this issue, including the latest government responses to the IICSA final report published in October 2022. 

14:45-15:30 Dr Kim Turner - Language and Court

  • 35 min presentation, plus 10 min Q&A

Kim will present the findings of her scoping review 'Supporting people's cognition and communication in the courtroom' conducted with Prof Nathan Hughes. The scoping review looked at support available across the world. Whilst there has been significant growth in the provision of supports there remains limited evidence of the efficacy of these approaches.  

15:30-15:45 Break

15:45-16:30 Dr Tina Pereira - Intermediaries pushing boundaries: using aids to prevent a communication breakdown

  • 35 min presentation, plus 10 min Q&A

Communication aids are typically regards as devices to repair a communication breakdown once it has occured, but evidence from research shows that they are also being used prophylactically; to prevent a probable future miscommunication. In this presentation, we see how intermediaries - as unique 'language brokers' - use aids prospectively, to avert likely upcoming misunderstandings in a non-leading and unbiased manner. 

16:30-17:00 Close Q&A