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Title: Child victims as child witnesses : the effects on girls giving live testimony in a Maltese courtroom
Authors: Vella, Susan Jo (2001)
Keywords: Child sexual abuse -- Malta
Children's rights -- Malta
Child witnesses -- Malta
Child psychology -- Malta
Issue Date: 2001
Citation: Vella, S. J. (2001). Child victims as child witnesses : the effects on girls giving live testimony in a Maltese courtroom (Bachelor’s dissertation).
Abstract: Children have participated in the judicial process throughout history, seldom without controversy. In the Middle Ages, children younger than fourteen were excluded from giving evidence, however, as the English Common Law developed, the age limit was eventually reduced to seven years of age. Nonetheless, there is no set age explicitly stated in Maltese Law at which a child ceases to be of tender years or becomes competent to give evidence. There is a greater concern over the stress that giving evidence entails, which has intensified in recent years now that more children are testifying at a younger age, especially as victims in child abuse cases. This dissertation aims to evaluate the effects of giving evidence on those children who are currently going to court as sexual abuse victims to testify against their alleged perpetrators. These effects have been studied through interviews carried out with the children's social workers, their main carers, and in four cases, with the children themselves. The analysis and discussion of these effects can be found in chapter four. The study also seeks to gather as much information as possible on the adjudication process in Malta with regards to child victims as witnesses, and what can further be done to alleviate the anxiety and apprehension these children go through before, during and after having testified in a Maltese courtroom Suggestions and alternatives to giving evidence are presented in chapter five, with an emphasis on interviewing methods and the role of the courtroom atmosphere in helping to reduce the stress placed on the child witness.
Description: B.A.(HONS)SOC.WORK
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacSoW - 1997-2010
Dissertations - FacSoWSPSW - 1994-2008

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