Research, reports and articles

The resource centre is a continually developing area of the website which will be of interest to professionals in the justice system and members of the public.

Here you will find reports, research information and articles which relate to IfJ's key aim of promoting 'access to justice for all'.

Young witness cases

‘Falling Short? A snapshot of young witness policy and practice’ (NSPCC, 2019)

This study was based on contributions from 272 criminal justice personnel, including 48 registered intermediaries.

 It was commissioned to examine progress in responding to the needs of young witnesses since the authors’ report ‘Measuring Up?’ in 2009 and a subsequent progress report in 2011.

 Chapter 1 contains the study overview and recommendations.

‘Young witness policy and practice: messages for family courts’ (Family Law, Vol 49 pp 669-675, June 2019)

This summarises findings from the NSPCC report for family court practitioners.

‘Managing young witness cases: the views of judges, advocates and intermediaries’ (Archbold Review, Issue 4, pp 8-9, May 2019)

This summarises findings from the NSPCC report for criminal justice practitioners.

‘Measuring up?’ Evaluating Government commitments to young witnesses in criminal proceedings’ Executive Summary (NSPCC and Nuffield Foundation 2009)

This study was based on interviews with 182 young witnesses. It identified significant gaps between Government policies and practice as experienced by children.

Section 28 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 Pre-trial cross-examination

‘S 28 YJCEA 1999: Checklist for registered intermediaries’ (Lexicon Limited 2017)

This checklist (which has no official status) is based on information collated by RI Rosemary Wyatt during the s 28 pilot stage, feedback from other intermediaries and comments from the judiciary, police, NCA, court staff, CPS and a QC.

‘Worth waiting for: The benefits of s 28 pre-trial cross-examination’ (Archbold Review Issue 8, pp 6-9, 30 Sept. 2016)

This final special measure in the 1999 Act was not piloted until 2014. 

This article discusses reasons for the delay and why other reforms taking place in the interim helped smooth the way for s 28. 

The role of intermediaries

‘“Every reasonable step”: a more flexible approach to vulnerable witnesses and defendants’ (Lexicon Limited, October 2017)

Criminal Procedure Rule 3.9(3)(b) requires courts to take ‘every reasonable step’ to facilitate participation of witnesses and defendants. Intermediaries have used this rule to recommend adaptations tailored to the needs of children and vulnerable adults.

‘Dispensing with the “safety-net” – is the intermediary really needed during cross-examination?’ (Archbold Review, Issue 6, pp 6-9, 21 July 2017)

Some judges now ask, given the overall shortage of registered intermediaries, whether their presence during questioning is always necessary.

In this article, 10 registered intermediaries discuss the benefits of their presence in facilitating communication that may not always be apparent to those in the courtroom.

‘A guide for social workers to the profession that enables vulnerable witnesses to access justice’ (Community Care, 27 March 2017)

‘Intermediaries in the Criminal Justice System: Improving communication for vulnerable witnesses and defendants’ (Policy Press, 2015)

Based on the experiences of 20 registered intermediaries and case studies from many others, this was the first book to describe the scheme in England and Wales.

Professor David Ormerod QC described it as ‘A comprehensive and illuminating account of the intermediary role … packed with accessible illustrations and practical guidance’.

‘“The Go-Between”: Evaluation of intermediary pathfinder projects’ (Ministry of Justice Research Summary 1, 2007)

This report evaluated use of registered intermediaries in six pilot areas and recommended national roll-out.

Intermediary case study

‘In the blink of an eye’ J. Plotnikoff and C. Park (Archbold Review Issue 1, pp 4-6,  23 February 2018)

Co-authored with the registered intermediary at trial, this describes the first court use of “eyegaze” assistive technology, designed for those without speech or controlled physical movements.