Examination of child witnesses not in violation of Article 6

“[32] It is worth adding that, given the extensive material now available to lawyers on what constitutes a fair interview of a young child, the assessment of fairness is for the lawyers, and ultimately the judge, to determine, and not for expert opinion from a psychologist.”
https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/search-judgments/judgment?id=d5e9fda6-8980-69d2-b500-ff0000d74aa7

UK Human Rights Blog

blogimage1Mark William Patrick MacLennan v Her Majesty’s Advocate, [2015] HCJAC 128 – Read judgment

The High Court has refused an appeal under Article 6 on the lack of effective cross-examination of child witness, but has provided interesting commentary on how such investigations could be better handled in future to meet Strasbourg standards.

 The Facts

The original charge concerned reports made against the appellant, the manager at a nursery in Fort William, from children alleging various forms of sexual contact. After initial allegations, joint investigation interviews (JIIs) were conducted between May and July 2013 with various children from the nursery. The value of some of the interviews was questioned by the High Court, with one described as “leading in the extreme” (paragraph 5), yet none were challenged by the defendant when presented as evidence during his trial.

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