Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings
What has this got to do with civil proceedings I hear you ask!
Plenty I would suggest!
This latest revision, the first for over a decade and published earlier this week, takes account of developments in the ‘science’ of investigative interviewing and is another step forward to prevent miscarriages of justice arising from poor (forensic) interviewing of witnesses. It’s not likely to eliminate them entirely but the education phase continues!
Big thank you to all those working tirelessly to deliver outstanding service to victims and witnesses.
At Intersol, the team have historically been key to developing and implementing many of the strategies enlarged upon and recognise the principles and good practice advocated. We apply them operationally proportionately and relevantly, recognising that many of the civil serious misconduct cases can easily slip over the threshold to the criminal. The rationale being that our methodology should always stand scrutiny and audit in the event that happens.
The forward includes:
The last edition of this guidance was published in 2011. Since then, key changes have been introduced and therefore this guidance now refers to:
• The statutory Code of Practice for Victims (Ministry of Justice, 2020) which came into force on the 1st of April 2020 and allows victims to choose the gender of their interviewer.
• The Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, in order to ensure the changes introduced with this legislation are being taken into consideration throughout the process.
• The rollout of video-recorded cross-examination for vulnerable and intimidated victims and witnesses.
• Safeguarding guidance for children in England & Wales to ensure that children are being referred to the right services when required Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: Guidance on Interviewing Victims and Witnesses, and Guidance on Using Special Measures 8
• The revised Witness Charter (Ministry of Justice 2013) which sets out the standards of service that all witnesses can expect to receive at every stage in the criminal justice process. • The Advocate’s Gateway ‘toolkits’, a helpful tool when preparing for trial in cases involving a witness or a defendant with communication needs.
• The importance of a trauma informed approach following more research and understanding gained in this area in recent years.
• Witness support that should be in place or arranged immediately after an interview.
• Complex cases and how to include an effective and trauma-informed survivor/victim/witness engagement strategy.
If you are commissioning serious workplace discipline investigations, particularly those that might amount to criminality, demand that the investigators are qualified to (at least) level 3 investigative interviewing. If the team at Intersol can assist in any way, investigation advice and planning is free to the point of commission. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org