# Human rights: availability of special measures for vulnerable witnesses and children

# Human rights: availability of special measures for vulnerable witnesses and children

What criminal proceedings procedures offer the family courts to help vulnerable witnesses?

dbfamilylaw

What criminal proceedings procedures offer the family courts to help vulnerable witnesses?

The failure of the family proceedings rule-makers to provide protective rules for children and vulnerable witnesses in family and – to an extent – other civil proceedings tends towards a failure of the government to provide a fair trial (European Convention 1950 Art 6(1)) for such individuals. Protection has been available, to a sophisticated level, for children and vulnerable witnesses in criminal proceedings at least since the introduction of Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 (YJCEA 1999) Part 2. If it be accepted that YJCEA 1999 is mostly a codification of common law remedies, then the failure of judges in family proceedings to use them (see references below eg to Re S (Children) [2016] EWCA Civ 83 (considered further below) compounds the unfair trail aspect.

In 2014 Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, set up…

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