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Vulnerable Witnesses Seminar


On Saturday 1st October 2011 between 9am and 1.30pm a Seminar will be held at the Northumbria University Newcastle Business School and School of Law covering vulnerable witnesses, victims and defendants, reviewing the Advocacy Training Council's Report "Raising the Bar":The Handling of Vulnerable Witnesses, Victims and Defendants in Court published in April.

This event has been organised by Trinity Chambers in conjunction with the Law School of Northumbria University and focuses on the effective handling by advocates of vulnerable witnesses, victims and defendants in both family and criminal proceedings. The event has been triggered by the publication in April 2011 of the Advocacy Training Council’s Report “Raising the Bar – Vulnerable Witnesses & Defendants”. The aim of the event is to provide not only an opportunity for reflection on, and debate about, a number of critical issues concerning vulnerable witnesses but also to look at various aspects of the Report. Given the breadth of the practical recommendations and the sources for the Report, the event is aimed at practitioners and agencies involved in dealing with potentially vulnerable witnesses and the particular challenges which they face in dealing with the court process. 

A full copy of the Report can be downloaded by clicking here

The event brings together a wide spectrum of speakers including members of the Judiciary, family and criminal advocates, as well as a view from those who regularly deal with vulnerable witnesses in relation to honour violence and forced marriage. Pivotal to the event is guest speaker Bobbie Cheema, Chair of the Working Group that wrote the Report. The Report, based on over 20 months work, is the first in depth analysis of the training, processes and procedures affecting those involved in the court process who are the most vulnerable as a result of their young age, learning difficulties or state of mental health, regardless of whether they are witnesses, victims or defendants 

Speakers from Trinity Chambers will provide perspectives from both the criminal, Caroline Goodwin and family Bar, Sally Bradley Q.C. (pictured). Trinity’s Criminal Group, with two Queen’s Counsel and over 20 criminal juniors, has an exemplary reputation for criminal advocacy covering both defence and prosecution work. A number of the Group are CPS Grade 4 Prosecutors and includes 8 Recorders.

Similarly, the Trinity Chambers Family Group is one of the largest in the North. Clients include local authorities, solicitors, support agencies, individuals and their families. Eight members of the Group sit as Deputy District Judges, two sit as Recorders as well as one of whom sits as a Deputy High Court Judge. The Group includes two Queen’s Counsel. Many are also members of Trinity Chambers’ Mental Health & Court of Protection Group dealing with cases involving vulnerable adults and children.

The programme will include:-

Cris McCurley - Vulnerable Witnesses in Honour Violence and Forced Marriage Cases 
Bobbie Cheema - Raising The Bar – The Handling of Vulnerable Witnesses, Victims 
and Defendants in Court 
Sally Bradley QC - Special measures – Family 
Caroline Goodwin - Special measures – Crime 
Dr. Keith Rix - Mental Vulnerability in Court 
HHJ Hudson - View from the Bench

The Seminar fee is £15.00 payable in advance by cheque or credit/debit card. 
Bookings should be made via Northumbria University. Cheques should also be made payable to Northumbria University: 

Enterprise Unit. 
Room 330 CCE1, 
Northumbria University, 
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST. 
Telephone: 0191 243 7587 
Fax: 0191 243 7506 
e-mail: maureen.cooke@northumbria.ac.uk

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