Section 6 “Children and young people” has been updated in the Equality Before the Law Bench Book as follows:
- Competence to give evidence at 6.2.1 has been amended to include recent High Court and NSW Court of Criminal Appeal authorities.
- Reference to the role of witness intermediaries in the Child Sexual Offence Evidence Pilot operating at the Downing Centre District Court and Newcastle District Court from 4 April 2016 has been added to 6.3.2 Oaths, affirmations and declarations.
- Text at 188.8.131.52 Video and/or sound recordings of previous representations has been amended to include reference to the Child Sexual Offence Evidence Pilot Scheme.
- A new section “Improper cross-examination” has been added at 184.108.40.206 to clarify the role of s 41 of the Evidence Act which imposes an obligation on the court to disallow certain questions in cross-examination.
- Contact information at 6.4 Further information or help has been updated.
- Further reading at 6.5 has been substantially revised and updated.
- An Appendix “Recommended script for use in special hearings with children or cognitively impaired witnesses” has been added. This is adapted with permission from the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration, Bench Book for children giving evidence in Australian courts, 2015.