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Sad child (a vulnerable witness to be interviewed by barristers)

Training on handling vulnerable witnesses

Kama Melly and James Hargan of Park Square Barristers presented an informative and topical training session for family barristers this week, on the issue of handling vulnerable witnesses in criminal and family cases. It was hosted by the North Eastern Circuit and filmed to form part of the North Eastern Circuit’s archive of training materials.

Kama and James both have considerable experience of dealing with vulnerable witness in their respective practice areas (crime and family), and provided a comparative study of the practice as it is developing under s.28 YJCEA 1999 in the criminal courts, and the use of special measures in the family court.

Follow-up event: 16 September

This training event will be followed on 16 September 2015 by an interactive advocacy training session run by Kama Melly and Kitty Taylor, both of whom who are experienced advocacy trainers. They will advise family practitioners on the preparation and delivery of the cross-examination of a vulnerable witness, as developed under s.28.

Places are still available for this session, and you can benefit from seeing the recording of the initial training session prior to attending. Please contact Suzy Trott, the North Eastern Circuit administrator, if you wish to attend.

Kama Melly

Kama been involved with the implementation of the rolling pilot scheme in Leeds Crown Court, which requires the use of ground rules hearings to establish the nature and scope of cross-examination to be put to vulnerable witnesses who are filmed giving their evidence before trial. She has acted as the representative of the Bar for the pilot scheme, and has delivered training for the Criminal Bar in respect of vulnerable witnesses and s28 at the Bar Conference and at the Criminal Bar Association Annual Conference. Kama has also been involved in the Advocacy Training Commission’s pilot schemes for advocacy training for vulnerable witnesses for the Criminal Bar. She is recommended in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners as an experienced criminal barrister, specifically in relation to vulnerable witnesses and defendants. See Kama’s profile.

James Hargan

James is a highly regarded family and court of protection practitioner who is featured in the Legal 500 for his attention to detail and strategic planning. He is known for his expertise in cases involving mental-health issues, non-accidental injuries to children and child deaths, representing children, parents and local authorities. See James’ profile.

Kitty Taylor

Kitty is a very successful criminal practitioner at Park Square Barristers, specialising in historic sexual and child abuse. She is also a pioneer of the pilot scheme at Leeds Crown Court, having been heavily involved with its implementation from the outset. See Kitty’s profile.