The use of intermediaries for young defendants: overcoming barriers to young people’s participation in criminal proceedings

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Abstract

The registered intermediary represents an important resource in supporting young people’s participation in a criminal trial. However, in England and Wales there are significant disparities between the support provided by registered intermediaries to young witnesses and young defendants. Young defendants in criminal trials are offered much more limited support to participate in court proceedings. This paper employs Fineman’s vulnerability theory and Nussbaum’s capabilities approach to investigate the provision of intermediaries for young defendants in England and Wales and throughout Australian jurisdictions. We examine failings in the provision of intermediaries to young defendants and consider the further work needed to align this provision with the right of children to be heard in proceedings affecting them contained in Article 12 of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and the right to a fair trial enshrined in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChild and Family Law Quarterly
Volume34
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2022

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