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Durham e-Theses
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Child victims in the crown court

Gillespie, Alisdair A. (2000) Child victims in the crown court. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis intends to critically examine how a child victim of abuse is dealt with during a Crown Court trial. In trials for child abuse the victim would normally be the main prosecution witness, and so undoubtedly would be called to give evidence. However there has been substantial research conducted which has proved that the child abuse causes the victim significant physical and psychological damage, and this has led to a call for special protection to be given to victims during court proceedings. Through analysing the main processes in a Crown Court trial, this thesis will demonstrate that the criminal justice system has already provided special measures to help child victims of abuse, but that these measures do not offer enough protection. The thesis will critically examine recent legislative amendments, together with proposals from established academics designed to improve the situation, to test whether they would be helpful to a child victim, and whether they are feasible alternatives. Where the conclusion is reached that either existing measures or new proposals would not help the child, the thesis will propose possible alternative schemes. When talking about a Crown Court trial, the right of the defendant to due process must also be given prominent attention. Throughout this thesis, it will be demonstrated that quite often new measures designed to help a child victim may interfere with the defendant's rights. Where this happens, an analysis of human rights laws will take place to examine whether the measure remains viable, or whether as a result of the fundamental right to a fair trial, the rights of the defendant must come first. This tension between the right of the defendant and the right and needs of the child victim can be seen throughout the thesis, and it necessarily limits the final solutions to the problems child victims face.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Jurisprudence
Thesis Date:2000
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Sep 2012 15:46

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